Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin signed a six-year contract extension before he was sidelined with a spine injury, but team officials said Irvin had already reached incentives that give him the option of becoming a free agent at the end of this season.
Owner Jerry Jones said Monday that Irvin received an unspecified signing bonus when the deal was made earlier in the regular season. Jones told KDFW-TV the extension was part of an effort to clear room under the NFL's salary cap.
"We wanted to demonstrate that we're interested in the future," Jones said.
Irvin sustained a swollen spine and a herniated disc in the Cowboys' 13-10 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 10. He is still wearing a neck brace and was inactive for the team's game against the New York Giants on Monday night.
Stephen Endicott, Irvin's agent, said the All-Pro wide receiver agreed to help the Cowboys with their salary cap woes in order to get more money up front. Endicott declined to comment on the details of the extension or the incentives.
"It was really a simple deal," he said. "But it's all null and void now."
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