The Dallas Cowboys have filed a complaint against Jay Ratliff and are seeking compensation from the defensive lineman.
Ratliff was sidelined last season while recovering from a sports hernia that required surgery. He was placed on the physically unable to perform list, but when he told the Cowboys he was not physically able to play, they released him in October.
A week later, Ratliff's surgeon medically cleared him to play and he signed with the Bears, playing five games for them.
The collective bargaining agreement does not cover such disputes, so the Cowboys have brought their complaint to the NFL's management council and the players' union.
"It just stems from him not playing for us under the pretense of injury, and then days later playing for someone else," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said at the NFL owners meetings. "We just have a complaint and we'll see where we take it from there."
The Cowboys want to recover a portion of the signing bonus Ratliff got when he agreed to a five-year, $40 million contract in 2011, a person familiar with the complaint told The Associated Press. The team also wants to recover some of Ratliff's salary for 2013, the person added, speaking on condition of anonymity because the specifics of the complaint have not been made public.
Ratliff's recent career with the Cowboys was anything but pleasant. In 2012, he even got into a shouting match with Jones in the locker room. He missed the off-season workouts and preseason before being released and landing in Chicago last year.
Ratliff, who now prefers to use the first name Jeremiah, signed a two-year deal with the Bears this month after starting four games for them in 2013.