Tuesday morning was quite the whirlwind for the Dallas Cowboys. After signing DeMarcus Lawrence to a contract extension on Monday, Dallas fans just wanted to see the team secure Randy Gregory as well. And that did happen. But it only lasted 90 minutes. Adam Schefter, and several others, reported that Gregory was staying in Dallas on a five-year, $70 million contract.
As fans rejoiced on social media, the celebration took an abrupt turn.
Mike Garofolo was the first to tweet that Gregory was actually heading to the Denver Broncos, and it turned out the edge rusher was headed to the Mile High City on the exact same deal.
Why was this happening? What changed? A short while after the reversal happened, reporters started to say that language within the contract made Gregory leave. According to reports, the defender was willing to accept less money to stay in Dallas, but after agreeing on a dollar amount, the front office wanted to go back in and add a clause to the contract.
The clause, according to Clarence Hill Jr., stated that “a player could lose bonuses or guarantees if a player is fined or suspended.” According to Gregory’s camp, the player did not previously agree upon those words and his team did not seem happy with the last-minute switch. According to Jane Slater, the team felt “lied to” because those words were never discussed in the monetary negotiations. The clause was also not present in the contract with Denver.
Gregory essentially confirmed these feelings by liking a tweet from Patrik Walker, a CBS Cowboys reporter. Walker noted that the gap between what Gregory wanted and what Dallas wanted to offer was roughly $4-5 million, and he ended up agreeing to a deal that somewhat closed the gap. At that point, he was set. But when this new clause and language came in, Gregory was out.
Randy Gregory confirms on Twitter that contract tinkering and language caused him to leave the Cowboys
The defender also liked this tweet that faulted the Cowboys for trying to tinker with a contract when they knew he had another team ready and waiting. The only other tweet Gregory has liked since those two is one from the Broncos’ official Twitter account with a photo of him.
Yahoo!’s senior NFL reporter Charles Robinson also reported that because the other offers on his table didn’t have this clause added, Gregory wanted Dallas to match the wording of the contracts. That clearly wasn’t going to happen. Apparently, this clause is present in both Michael Gallup and DeMarcus Lawrence’s new contracts as well — and the timing of “when it was inserted” in Gregory’s deal is certainly up for debate. After all, reports indicate it exists in every Cowboys long-term deal other than Dak Prescott’s.
ESPN’s Ed Werder somehow got a quote on how Gregory reacted in the actual negotiations. Gregory’s camp brought up that voiding a guarantee for fines is not in any other NFL teams’ contracts and the Cowboys responded by saying it’s in every deal of theirs except Prescott’s. When the now Bronco learned of the new language being added to the contract, he allegedly said “f*** them.”
There are multiple sides to every story. For now, it seems Gregory and his team are pretty clear on theirs.
Fans are now hoping the Cowboys can make a go at Von Miller or Bobby Wagner to make up for the lost free agent.