Bryant out of unhappy spot; Dallas gets Morgan
Bryant stayed with the Dallas Cowboys even after throwing a sweaty jersey onto coach Bill Parcells' face during a workout in June. But he was traded Tuesday to the Cleveland Browns for Morgan, who is from the Dallas area.
"I feel like I should be a lot farther along in this game playing-wise and doing things on the field than I was in Dallas," Bryant said Tuesday night. "That's a situation I just want to put behind me. ... I want to be part of something new, something fresh."
While saying he learned a lot from Parcells, Bryant wouldn't elaborate on his relationship with the coach.
Both receivers have shown flashes of becoming NFL stars since they were drafted, Morgan from Kansas State in 2001, a year before Bryant left Pittsburgh after his junior season.
Bryant caught 44 passes for 733 yards and six touchdowns while starting 15 games as a rookie in 2002, before Parcells arrived.
After he started just five times last season, with 39 catches for 559 yards and two TDs, Bryant's outburst with Parcells came because he was upset about the amount of time he got behind Keyshawn Johnson and Terry Glenn, receivers that had played for the coach before rejoining him in Dallas.
Bryant was removed by security from the practice and didn't rejoin the team until training camp. He has 16 catches for 266 yards this season, and had just one for 22 yards in a loss to Pittsburgh last Sunday.
"Certainly, the effort was there on everybody's part to make it work and really fit," Jones said. "Quincy maybe has a better chance, his temperament might have a better chance of fitting in ... a better fit right now for what we want to do."
Morgan, who would have been a free agent at the end of the season, agreed to a contract extension through 2005 before the trade was completed. Bryant is already signed through next year.
"It's one of the few trades that I've ever seen that it's really a win-win for everybody," Cleveland coach Butch Davis said. "Quincy Morgan is from Texas so he gets to go home; Antonio Bryant wanted a new start."
Parcells wasn't available for comment Tuesday.
Morgan caught three touchdown passes this season from Jeff Garcia, but was disappointed with his reduced role over the last 1½ seasons. He complained last week that he wasn't getting the ball enough, arguing that he couldn't be productive if he didn't get any opportunities.
However, the biggest reason for a drop-off in Morgan's statistics may have been that Garcia, in his first season with Cleveland, and the coaching staff had lost confidence in him.
Aside from an occasional dropped pass, Morgan does have the knack for making big plays. He had a touchdown catch of over 70 yards in each of the last three seasons -- the only receiver in the NFL to do so.
Morgan had 38 catches for 516 yards and three TDs last season. A year earlier, the former Kansas State star had 56 receptions for 964 yards and seven TDs.
"I'm leaving a place that I've been for the last few years, so it's tough," Morgan said. "I love everybody here, especially the fans and the way they treated me. I'm looking forward to going back home (to Dallas) and being around my family and friends every day."
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
MORE NFL HEADLINES
- Lions' Raiola suspended 1 game for stomp
- Manziel ruled out; Browns add rookie Shaw
- Bears to start Cutler as Clausen concussed
- Arians: Cardinals to start rookie QB Thomas