Dallas Cowboys' receiver Dez Bryant is no stranger to controversy
Dez Bryant has received a great deal of off-field media coverage. Reuters

Dallas Cowboys' wide receiver Dez Bryant is in a dark place, according to his advisor David Wells.

What's unfortunate for Bryant is his recent troubles are not new.

A report that Bryant has three lawsuits against him claiming he owes $850,000 is the most recent of problems following the star receiver. Last season, Bryant received salary, bonuses, and endorsements that totaled $2.8 million.

The lawsuit comes at about the same time as Bryant's recent encounter at NorthPark Center, a mall in Dallas, when he and his friends were asked to pull up their pants by security, and a profanity altercation ensued. Bryant was hit with a criminal trespass warning.

Bryant responded on Saturday via Twitter: To all my fans I apologize for what's been going on...the situation is behind me..moving forward to this upcoming year...

These situations might be behind Bryant, but he has been involved in other situations that have received media attention.

Bryant's college career ended early when during his junior year the NCAA suspended him for several games for lying about his relationship with former NFL star Deion Sanders.

Bryant was also involved in an exchange that damaged his mother's reputation, and shed light on his upbringing. Yahoo! Sports first reported that during a pre-draft interview Miami Dolphins' general manager Jeff Ireland questioned whether Bryant's mother was a prostitute.

Following that story, ESPN would later report on police records that they gathered on his mother showing that within a year she was caught selling crack cocaine to police informants, and was found guilty of possession of a controlled substance, and the manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance.

ESPN also reported on his mother's conviction for selling crack cocaine in 1997 and her 18-month prison sentence.

Following the interview and media disclosure of his mother's past, Bryant was put in the position to deny that his father was a pimp, and that his mother worked for his father.

The New York Times reported in 2008, while Bryant was at Oklahoma State, that his mother gave birth to him at age 15, and while his father was in his early 40s.

His mother had three children by the age of 18, and was working for roughly minimum wage.

Bryant struggled through academic hardships with a learning disorder, and word had spread throught the Internet.

While in camp, Bryant refused to take part in rookie hazing -- a tradition players have been subjected to for years. When put through the ritual, Bryant responded: I feel like I was drafted to play football, not carry another player's pads.

The perception of Bryant being a lost cause could be a growing sentiment.

I'm upset but not surprised whatsoever, Sanders said on ESPN-FM (103.3) on Friday, regarding his incident at the mall. He needs help. He needs help. I told the Cowboys from Day One that he needs help. Matter of fact, they have a team in place to help him. But you cannot tell a grown man what to do.

Bryant is only 22 years old. He has never been arrested for a crime.

The idea that one person has been subjected to such controversy and scrutiny, whether it was imposed on him or whether it was self-imposed, might be overwhelming for anyone. A talented receiver, Bryant likely has a bright football future ahead of him.

While the NFL's owners and players association work on a new deal, perhaps they can iron out better ways to take care of their players.