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Dez Bryant still owes money

6/6/2011

Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant said his money problems are over with during a Saturday appearance at a department store in Tulsa, Okla.

The reality is they're not.

"I have a handle on it and it's done," Bryant told Associated Press when asked about his money issues. "It's in the past and I'm ready to go ahead from here."

Yes, Bryant is willing to put his money woes behind him, but he still owes Colleyville jeweler and ticket broker Eleow Hunt a little more than $600,000 for jewelry, tickets and personal loans.

Hunt's attorney, Beth Ann Blackwood, told ESPN Dallas on Sunday night that the lawsuit is on hold while Bryant's attorney -- Texas State Senator Royce West -- is in special session in Austin.

The lawsuit says Bryant, who was a sophomore at Oklahoma State when the spending spree began, was supposed to repay Hunt when he signed either an NFL or promotional contract, whichever came first. Bryant and adviser David Wells signed 17 receipts from January 2009 to July 2010, the lawsuit said. The longest wait between purchases was 2½ months.

He settled a lawsuit filed earlier this year for an undisclosed amount. A New York-based jeweler said Bryant owed them $246,000 for purchases.

Bryant is hopeful to settle this lawsuit when the NFL lockout ends, when he'll receive a $1 million roster bonus.

It's not known if the labor dispute could cost Bryant money when it ends because he didn't show up to Valley Ranch when the lockout was lifted, albeit briefly, in April. He stands to lose $250,000 by not completing offseason workouts.

Fellow wide receiver Miles Austin could lose $500,000 of his base salary if he fails to complete offseason workouts. However, when the lockout was lifted by a court order, Austin showed up at Valley Ranch. And while he was denied the ability to work out, he did make an attempt.

Agents told their clients to go to team facilities when the lockout was lifted to say they came to honor their contractual agreements, but most NFL teams turned players away. On the last day of the draft, NFL teams, including the Cowboys, allowed players to work out after some rules were established. But once the owners won an appeal, players were again getting banned from team facilities.

Bryant cited a family issue for not working out at Valley Ranch or even meeting with owner Jerry Jones, the Cowboys' coaches or the medial staff.

In several charity events, and the Tony Romo wedding, Bryant and several players met with coaches and front office personnel.

Jones and Bryant have each said they have a good relationship. Bryant went further, saying it was fabulous.

At this stage, Bryant is like every other NFL player: He's waiting for the lockout to end so they can start collecting checks.