Tony Dorsett, who has gained the fourth most yards in NFL history, has agreed to contract concessions that apparently will clear the way for a trade from the Dallas Cowboys to the Denver Broncos.
After Dorsett and two of his representatives, Witt Stewart and financial adviser Bill Love, met with Cowboys officials Saturday, Broncos General Manager John Beake said he believed a trade will be made by late this week."I've come to an agreement in principle with the financial portion of the trade," Dorsett, 34, told Denver television station KCNC. "Now it's up to the Broncos and Cowboys to work out the trade. I'm looking at it like I'm going to be a Denver Bronco, but there are still bridges to be crossed."
Love said Dorsett approved the contract Saturday in Austin. Love then telephoned Tex Schramm, the Cowboys' president, and Beake, and both tentatively approved the deal. Love would not disclose financial terms of the new arrangement.
Dorsett, a Heisman Trophy winner at Pittsburgh, demanded a trade when he lost his starting job to Herschel Walker. Since Walker came to the Cowboys in 1986, Dorsett's role has diminished. In 1986, he rushed for 748 yards and last year gained a career-low 456. In eight of his first nine seasons, Dorsett bettered 1,000.
He has gained 12,036 yards in 11 seasons. Dorsett is 84 yards shy of Franco Harris' total for third place on the all-time rushing list and 266 behind Jim Brown. Walter Payton is the all-time leader.
"I've discussed the transaction with the Dallas organization from their perspective, and I have gotten concurrence from them," Love said. "I've gotten concurrence from the Denver organization and Tony has approved the transaction.
"The only thing left to be done is for whatever the compensation from Denver back to Dallas in terms of personnel, etcetera, will have to be worked out between the Denver and Dallas organizations. I hope everything will be accomplished by Thursday or Friday."
Schramm told the Dallas Times Herald that all that stands in Dorsett's way is compensation - either a player or a draft choice. Beake described the situation as a "three-part puzzle," the paper reported Sunday.
First, Dorsett had to agree to reworking his contract, which Love had done for the past month. Then he had to get the Cowboys to agree to the new contract, which included the settlement of a $750,000 loan Dorsett obtained from the team in 1985.
"We're in the last piece of the puzzle," Beake said. "What Tony did was agree to the plan. Now it's up to us. Everybody knows what we want to do."
Dorsett earns a base salary of $500,000 annually with the Cowboys. He also is the beneficiary of an annuity that would cost the Cowboys $200,000 over the next two years. The estimated cost to the Cowboys for Dorsett's remaining two years is $1.4 million.
The Cowboys have insisted that any team acquiring Dorsett assume all salary and annuity obligations.