Alex Stewart, a former Cal State Fullerton defensive end who was released in November by the Dallas Cowboys, has signed two one-year contracts with the Houston Oilers, his agent, Jim Spellman, said Tuesday.
According to Spellman, Stewart, who was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the eighth round of the 1989 draft and sent to Dallas in the Herschel Walker, will receive about $400,000 with incentives for two years.
"It's a great opportunity for me to contribute and play a lot," said Stewart, who will report to the Oilers' mini-camp in May. "I'll worry about starting when I get there."
Spellman said Stewart was in contention for a starting berth on the Vikings' defensive line in 1989 but broke his hand a few weeks before the season. He was traded to Dallas while he was still on the inactive list and spent his time there on the Cowboys' six-man development squad.
Stewart was the subject of controversy last fall when the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, quoting a "highly placed team source," said the Cowboys cut Stewart in part because they suspected he was using steroids.
The newspaper also reported that "three other league sources," none of which was named, confirmed that Stewart tested positive for steroids on a drug test administered during the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
Stewart denied those reports. "There was never a positive test and, as far as I know, there were no problems with the test at the combine," he said. "Whatever happened in Dallas is behind me, and I can't wait to play in Houston."
Stewart, 6-feet-4 and 262 pounds, played at Fullerton in 1988 after transferring from USC. He had 21 tackles and 17 assists in eight games for the Titans. But Stewart's stock rose when he played well in the 1989 Blue-Gray game and earned defensive most valuable player honors at the 1988 Senior Bowl.