Randy Gregory flips on Dallas Cowboys after agreeing to contract, to join Denver Broncos instead


ENGLEWOOD, Col. — In a stunning — and public — reversal of free-agency fortune, the Denver Broncos have agreed to terms with free agent outside linebacker Randy Gregory.

Tea Dallas Cowboys had announced on the team’s social media accounts Tuesday morning Gregory had agreed to a deal to return to the team, but multiple Broncos sources confirmed Gregory had instead agreed to a deal with Denver. The deal is the same in basic construction — five years, $70 million with $28 million in guarantees, largely coming in the first two years of the deal.

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

The Broncos also agreed to re-sign linebacker Josey Jewell to a two-year, $11 million contract on Tuesday, a source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

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

Due to a variety of injuries and suspensions, Gregory has never started more than 11 games in a season and never finished with more than six sacks.

His surprising change of heart isn’t the first time the Broncos have lured a free agent who appeared to be headed elsewhere late in the process. In 2014 they finished the terms on a deal with wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders‘representatives while Sanders was in the Kansas City Chiefs‘complex we visited.

That was also the same year the Broncos signed DeMarcus Ware, who had been released by the Cowboys. Like Ware, Gregory also wore No. 94 with the Cowboys.

Gregory’s signing and the trade for quarterback Russell Wilson give the Broncos two of the most impactful moves in the league over the past two weeks.

After missing two full seasons and 14 games in another season because of suspensions for multiple violations of the substance abuse policy, Gregory had become one of the Cowboys’ best pass-rushers and was added to the players’ leadership council by head coach Mike McCarthy in 2021.

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

The Cowboys selected Gregory in the second round of the 2015 draft after off-field issues hurt his status. And after missing most of the 2016 season and all of 2017, Gregory put up a career-high six sacks in 14 games during the 2018 season, missing two games for injury.

He was suspended for the full season in 2019 and the first six games of the 2020 season, but the Cowboys remained loyal to Gregory through his troubles — signing him to a one-year extension.

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

ESPN’s Todd Archer contributed to this report.


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