Cowboys Get Randy Gregory Back - And A Break With His Contract, Too

Mike Fisher
July 17, 2018 - 3:02 pm
Randy Gregory

Photo by Brandon Wade/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS

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FRISCO (105.3 The Fan) - The first concern, of course, is about Randy Gregory the person. He's done enough self-improvement work there over the course of his two-year drug-related suspension from the NFL to have satisfied the league, which reinstated him on Tuesday.

The second concern is about Gregory the football player, where he fits, and how soon. The clearance given him to join Dallas to begin training camp in Oxnard on July 24 is a buoyant one. Remember that the Cowboys selected Gregory in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft as he slipped due to his issues with marijuana and behavior, all the while viewing him as a top-10 talent.

Pass-rusher is second only to quarterback in the "tough-to-find'' department. The Cowboys stand behind this player because they believe him in as a person .... But also because pass-rushers are gold.

And there is a third concern: What about his contract?

There is a contractual wrinkle here in need of ironing out. The Cowboys are almost certain what Gregory's contract status will be. To wit:

Gregory played in just two games in 2016. He missed all of 2017 after a year-long ban. He's on the Cowboys' cap, and has been under the terms of the four-year deal he signed as a rookie in 2015. But ... 2015 counts as one year. He played fewer than six games in 2016, so that does not count as a year of service. And then came 2017, when again Gregory does not accrue a season towards free agency.

Cowboys sources suggest to me that they think it'll play out like this:

The league will rule that his contract "tolls.'' That's sort of like a "contractual redshirt year'' ... and means the planned salary for 2017 is what Gregory will make in 2018 ... and that his scheduled 2018 salary will now move to 2019.

Basically, it shuffles back his four-year commitment here, meaning he wouldn't be a restricted free agent until spring of 2020.

Again, this is a tertiary matters, far less significant that Gregory's well-being as a person and availability as a player. But the Cowboys and Gregory are obviously elated that we can discuss such a thing at all.

“I know he’s worked very hard to get himself in position to put the suspension behind him and get back to work as a football player,'' Cowboys coach Jason Garrett recently said, before knowing the results of Tuesday's positive ruling. "He’s worked very hard as a person to improve himself, and we’re excited about the opportunity to get him back.”

And it looks like they'll get Randy Gregory with three more years of contractual control as well.