As promised, Crayton at OTAs
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Patrick Crayton, who recently made a public request to be released, was at the team's practice facility Tuesday and plans to participate in the final week of voluntary organized team activities.
"Crayton is excited about the 2010 NFL season and accepts any decision[s] made by the Cowboys organization regarding his status with the team," agent Fred Lyles wrote in a text message. "He's looking to compete and we don't want to be a distraction."
Crayton has not worked out at the team's Valley Ranch facility since the Cowboys traded up in the first round to draft receiver Dez Bryant. The Cowboys explored trade scenarios for the 31-year-old Crayton during draft weekend, and Lyles soon thereafter requested that the team release the receiver.
Crayton made that request public during his May 28 appearance on ESPN 103.3's Ben and Skin Show, expressing skepticism that the Cowboys would pay a $2 million salary for a fourth or fifth receiver and concern that he'd be cut after the team used him as "insurance" during training camp.
Crayton also said that he didn't believe he would be given a legitimate chance to compete for playing time with the Cowboys, who are committed to Pro Bowler Miles Austin and highly paid Roy Williams as the starting receivers. Crayton, a seventh-round pick by the Cowboys in 2004, had 162 catches for 2,385 yards and 20 touchdowns the last four seasons while bouncing between the starting lineup and third receiver role.
"If I'm going to be with another team, I need to get used to another city, another franchise, a new coach, a new quarterback, a new coordinator, everything," Crayton said on the radio show. "Just a whole new environment. My wife and kids got to get settled in, got to get in schools and everything. I would love to have the opportunity to compete with another team versus come here and come here for a numbers thing where they're like, 'Oh, we're not going to pay you that to be our fourth or fifth guy,' or whatever the situation is and you kept me the whole training camp because you need camp bodies.
"To me, you're messing with people's careers and people's lives."
However, Crayton expressed a desire to return to the field in a text message Monday evening.
"I'm just ready to get back out there with my teammates and play some football," Crayton said. "I've been itching for it."
Owner/general manager Jerry Jones, who signed Crayton to a four-year, $14 million contract that included a $6 million signing bonus in December 2007, said last week that he hasn't considered cutting Crayton. However, Jones acknowledged that Crayton isn't assured a roster spot.
"There's nothing to be confused about," Jones said. "Patrick is under contract, and this is a voluntary workout. When we have mandatory workouts, he'd probably be the first one in line to be here. That's the way that it is. There really is no confusion here.
"You can chart down our roster and start going over what-ifs. Nothing would be gained from the Cowboys to go over many what-ifs all the way down our roster."