Josh Brent will face a felony charge of intoxication manslaughter when his trial begins on Sept. 23 in Dallas County, Texas.
The bad news for the Cowboys is if the NFL does not suspend Brent before then, his $630,000 salary for this season will count against the team’s salary cap. For a club that is almost right up against the number, that’s a blow, according to Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
It was reported last week that Brent will not play for the Cowboys this season, although the club has remained supportive of the defensive tackle following the accident that caused the death of Jerry Brown, a practice squad linebacker on the team.
Brent, who could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted, was placed on the reserve non-football injury list late last season. If Brent was suspended, his contract would not count against the cap but Hill reports that the NFL has said Commissioner Roger Goodell will not rule on Brent’s status until after the legal case is complete. That will be too late for the cap space to be useful for the club.
Maybe the Cowboys have to consider flat out cutting Brent to get the cap room, even though they have tried to stick with him through a devastating ordeal, one that affected the family of another man much more than Brent. Reality is odds are long Brent will ever play in the NFL again.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune