Dez Bryant didn't mind picking up the $54,896 dinner tab for his teammates. He's OK with being teased about it.
Apologies from the guys who ran up the bill? Not needed, he insists.
“It was all in fun,” Bryant said.
The rookie receiver for the Dallas Cowboys spoke to reporters Thursday for the first time since his rookie dinner became a national topic of discussion.
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Most NFL teams have a tradition of a lavish meal paid for by the top draft pick. Rarely, however, does it go to this extreme.
The Cowboys went overboard as payback for Bryant violating another rookie tradition by not carrying a veteran’s pads at training camp.
Bryant sort of knew it was coming. Still, signing a check that big still had to be staggering, even for a guy making $2.8 million this season.
“It is funny. It was always funny,” Bryant said. “It’s what rookies are supposed to do. Some of the older guys apologized. I felt there was no need for them to apologize because it just happened.”
Asked whether he felt taken advantage of, Bryant said, “No. Not at all.”
Team owner Jerry Jones chalked it up to an expensive lesson.
“Frankly, I think he’s handling it very well,” Jones said on his radio show this week. “I can tell you right now that that would make my eyes water to have a bill like that, and it should. But by the same token, it’s in the spirit of the same thing that Bill Parcells used to have the No. 1 draft pick bring him his water out there. It’s that same type of thing that goes on with a team and the kind of rapport that you want to build on the field.”
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler will sit out the game against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday because of a concussion after being sacked nine times in the first half of last week’s loss to the New York Giants.
Cutler was examined by team and independent doctors after practicing on a limited basis Wednesday, and the decision was made to have him sit this week.
This will be the first time Cutler has missed a start due to injury.
Veteran Todd Collins, who took over to start the second half against the Giants and left with a stinger, will make his first start in three years.
SIMMS: NOT GUILTY
Former NFL quarterback Chris Simms, son of former New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms, pleaded not guilty in a Manhattan courtroom to charges of driving while impaired and driving while impaired by drugs.
Simms, 29, could face up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted.
Oakland running back Darren McFadden sat out his second straight practice with a sore hamstring and is almost certain to miss Sunday’s game against San Diego. Michael Bush will likely get the start. The Buffalo Bills will be blacked out on local television for the first time in nearly four years after failing to sell out Sunday’s game against Jacksonville by the NFL deadline. The Houston Texans signed defensive end Mark Anderson, cut Tuesday by Chicago, and waived defensive end Ryan Denney.