Dez Bryant will play in the NFL again, just not immediately.
The former Cowboys star said this past week that he “is not retired” but also stated that he is not openly pitching himself to teams like he did a year ago. Bryant eventually landed with the Saints but suffered an Achilles injury in practice before he was able to play in his first game in a New Orleans uniform.
One can bet that Bryant will not be as picky now as he was last year. He turned down an offer from the Ravens that was reportedly in the neighborhood of three years, $21 million and also danced around with the Browns.
Bryant also initially was trying to get himself to NFC East teams not named the Cowboys, so that he could seek some measure of revenge on Dallas – which released him in April of last year after eight seasons.
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If Bryant had his druthers, he would love to sign up with the Eagles, Giants or Redskins. But Philly is currently stacked at the position with a ton of depth, and the Giants and Redskins are not exactly the proverbial “one player away” from truly contending. Signing Bryant would be far too risky for a team like Big Blue or Washington given his large personality.
Look for a contending team with a need at receiver to take a hard look at Bryant within the next few months, particularly one with any big injuries at the position. The Patriots rolled the dice with Josh Gordon last fall, and are also looking for value. With Bryant’s price tag at an all-time low, and given the fact that there are a million question marks regarding their receiving corps – Bill Belichick could kick the tires. The Patriots just freed up around $5 million in spending money due to Tom Brady’s contract extension, and part of the deal may have been a wink – wink to Brady that they would provide him with some help at wide receiver.
Despite being burned last year, the Ravens are another wide receiver needy team worth watching, as are the 49ers and Bills. Both San Francisco and Buffalo are popular sleeper picks to make the playoffs this season.