Friday’s NFL: Cowboys release Dez Bryant, who says 'it's personal'
Frisco, Texas — Dez Bryant never lived up to the big contract he signed with the Dallas Cowboys when he was among the best receivers in the NFL.
If the franchise leader in touchdown catches is going to find his 2014 All-Pro form again, it will be with another team.
The Cowboys released Bryant on Friday, deciding salary-cap relief and declining production from one of their biggest stars outweighed the risk of him proving them wrong by becoming a Pro Bowl player again somewhere else.
Bryant used Twitter to make it clear that he will be trying.
“If I didn’t have my edge, I’ve got it now,” he wrote among a flurry of tweets over two days, starting the day before a meeting where owner and general manager Jerry Jones told him he was being released. “It’s very personal.”
Bryant, 29, signed a $70 million, five-year deal after leading the NFL with 16 touchdowns in 2014.
But he didn’t have a 1,000-yard season in three years under the big contract, and just played all 16 games without a 100-yard day for the first time.
Bryant was owed $12.5 million on each of the last two years of his deal, with a $16.5 million salary cap hit both times. The release clears about $8.5 million in cap space.
Fowler, Bears agree
The Bears have agreed to terms with former Michigan State receiver Bennie Fowler on a one-year deal, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.
Last season, Fowler had 29 catches for 350 yards and three touchdowns for Denver where he signed as a free agent in 2014.
Fowler, 26, has 56 career receptions for 698 yards and three touchdowns.
The NFL suspended free agent quarterback Mark Sanchez for the first four games of next season for violating the league’s policy against performance-enhancing substances.
... The Seahawks signed kicker Sebastian Janikowski and quarterback Stephen Morris. Running back J.D. McKissic and defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson signed their exclusive rights free agent contracts.
... Authorities say former Raiders and 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith is being transferred to an inpatient substance abuse treatment center as he awaits his next court date.
The NFL accused some lawyers representing players in the $1 billion concussion settlement of fraud and wants a special investigator appointed.
Plaintiffs’ lawyers contend the league is not awarding settlement funds fast enough. So far, $227 million in claims have been awarded.
The league made its request Friday in U.S. District Court for Eastern Pennsylvania, saying that attorneys, doctors and former players are attempting to cheat the program.