Randy Gregory Spurns Cowboys Over ‘Contract Language’: Report

Randy Gregory

Getty Randy Gregory of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates a sack.

 

Update: Randy Gregory has agreed to sign a contract with the Denver Broncos, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. “My understanding is Dallas insisted on contract language that Gregory did not like protecting themselves. So he heads to Denver,” Rapoport wrote on March 15.

The Dallas Cowboys aren’t just bringing back one of their most prominent defenders in Randy Gregory, they’re paying him a huge amount of money.

Less than 24 hours after signing fellow defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence to a new deal, the Cowboys are continuing to make moves to keep the defense together. After concerns arose when the franchise tag deadline passed without Gregory being selected, Dallas and owner Jerry Jones have put it to bed.

According to ESPN insider Adam Schefter, the Cowboys have shelled out $70 million for the former Nebraska Cornhusker.

“Cowboys are re-signing DE Randy Gregory to a five-year, $70 million deal that includes $28 million guaranteed, per source,” Schefter Tweeted.

This technically marks the third contract that Gregory has signed with the Cowboys, with his rookie deal being completed in 2020 after an extension and then playing on a one-year deal this past season.

Now, Gregory is receiving the huge contract every NFL player is searching for, but is it really a smart move for the Cowboys? Considering his off-field issues and overall production, it’s certainly a gamble for Jones and Dallas.

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Ex-NFL GM Calls Gregory Deal ‘Very Risky’

Free agency is always about spending, and that means overpaying. It’s hard to say that the Cowboys didn’t overpay to keep Gregory around, especially considering that his season-high total for sacks is 6.0, which he totaled in 2018 and in 2021.

This deal assumes that the best is yet to come for the edge rusher, who turned 29 toward the end of this past season. As Heavy analyst and former New Orleans Saints and Miami Dolphins general manager Randy Mueller mentions, it’s a “very risky” deal.

“Cowboys are taking a calculated risk that rusher Randy Gregory and his past missteps will limit his market and scare people. That is very risky,” Mueller wrote on Twitter.

Gregory missed the entirety of the 2017 and 2019 seasons due to violations of the league’s substance abuse policy, but has not had any issues since 2019.

His production is still a concern. If the Cowboys handed out a contract that matched six sacks a season, the money would be an afterthought, but Dallas is giving him $28 million guaranteed and he only has 16.5 career sacks in five seasons.


 Cowboys Sign Other Star Edge Rusher

As mentioned, Dallas also brought back Lawrence, who is coming his least productive season with the Cowboys since being drafted in the second round of the 2014 NFL draft. Lawrence only played seven games in 2021 due to injury, and put up three sacks in seven starts.

As Heavy’s J.R. DeGroote points out, Lawrence was due $27 million coming into 2022, but the Cowboys will now have to pay him $14 million this season, which helped open up space for Gregory and any other moves the Cowboys still want to make.

The deal is for three years, and guarantees $30 million to Lawrence and could end up paying him $40 million in total. It’s not bad value considering Lawrence’s potential, but it’s also a risk.

The last time Lawrence put up double-digit sacks was in 2018, when he followed up 2017’s 14.5 sacks with 10.5 more. Since, Lawrence has totaled just 14.5 sacks in 38 regular season games.

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