Sources: Gregory returns to Dallas to join the Broncos

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – In an astonishing – and public – turnaround of free-agency fortune, the Denver Broncos have agreed to enter into deals with outside linebacker Randy Gregory.

The Dallas Cowboys announced on the team’s social media accounts Tuesday morning that Gregory had accepted an agreement to return to the team, but several Broncos sources later confirmed that he would instead join Denver. The deal is the same in basic construction: five years, $ 70 million, with $ 28 million guarantees coming pretty much in the first two years.

A source told ESPN’s Ed Werder that the payroll language that the Cowboys include in player contracts that caused Gregory to withdraw from his contract is standard for them, but not commonly used by other teams. The Cowboys now have “high interest” in Von Miller depending on his financial expectations, the source said.

The Gregory clause objected to – canceling his contract if he was fined / suspended for any drug offense or violation of the NFL’s personal conduct – was not included in his previous Cowboys contract, nor was it mentioned in Monday’s contract negotiations, which lasted until midnight. , says a source to Werder. When asked about the clause, the Cowboys said it is included in all Dallas player contracts, but Dak Prescotts, the source told Werder.

The Broncos had done extensive due diligence on Gregory’s previous suspensions before the free agency opened, and the team’s personnel department had classified Gregory as one of the available top edge rushers. The team had been negotiating all Monday with Gregory’s representatives in hopes of a deal.

Denver also agreed to re-sign linebacker Josey Jewell to a $ 11 million two-year contract on Tuesday, a source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. The Broncos’ general manager, George Paton, said at the NFL scouting combination that Jewell is “completely recovered” from the breaststroke he suffered in Week 2 last season.

Gregory, 29, joins Bradley Chubb as the starting outside linebackers in the Broncos’ 3-4 defense. The Broncos are hopeful that Gregory can continue his career flare-up.

Due to a variety of injuries and suspensions, Gregory has never started more than 11 games in a season nor finished with more than six kicks.

His heartbeat is not the first time the Broncos have lured a free agent who appeared to be heading somewhere else late in the process. In 2014, they terminated the terms of a deal with wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders ‘representatives while Sanders was visiting the Kansas City Chiefs’ complex.

It was also the year the Broncos signed DeMarcus Ware, who had been released by the Cowboys. Like Ware, Gregory carried No. 94 with Dallas.

Gregory’s signing and replacement with quarterback Russell Wilson gives the Broncos two of the most influential moves in the league over the past two weeks.

After missing two full seasons and 14 games in a row due to suspensions for multiple violations of the league’s drug abuse policy, Gregory became one of the Cowboys ‘best pass-rushers and was added to the players’ management board by head coach Mike McCarthy in 2021. .

Gregory made a career-high 11 starts last season, and lacked time due to a calf strain and COVID-19. He had 19 tackles, one tackle for loss, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one interception while matching the high of his career with six sacks.

The Cowboys selected Gregory in the second round of the 2015 draft after problems off the field damaged his status. After missing most of the 2016 season and all of 2017, Gregory put up six kicks in 14 games during the 2018 season and missed two matchups for injury.

He was suspended for the entire season in 2019 and the first six games in 2020, but the Cowboys remained loyal to Gregory, signing him with an extension of one year.

For his career, Gregory has 16.5 sacks in 50 games.

ESPN’s Todd Archer contributed to this report.

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