The New York Giants release of Brandon Marshall on Thursday has left them in need of another dependable wide receiver to compliment Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard.
Immediately free-agent wide receiver Dez Bryant’s name came up, the veteran having been released by the Giants’ NFC East counterparts, the Dallas Cowboys, a week prior.
In what can only be described as a messy breakup over a contract dispute, Bryant promised Cowboys management while he walked out of team facilities after his release that he would see them twice a year, per Mickey Spagnola of DallasCowboys.com, insinuating that he would be signing with an NFC East team.
Bryant immediately expressed his desire to sign with the Giants via Twitter, even posted a video of himself working out with Beckham.
When initially asked about Bryant, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman admitted that “we’re interested in everybody,” per ESPN’s Jordan Raanan. But that tune suddenly changed over the weekend when NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the Giants “are not at this point a team vying for his services.”
Bryant is coming off his best season in three years, recording 69 receptions for 838 yards and six touchdowns.
Gettleman announced on Thursday afternoon that Marshall has been released after just one season with the Giants, which was shortened to just five games because of a season-ending ankle injury.
It was a swift and unceremonious end to his tenure in New York, the 34-year-old expected to create a fearsome one-two punch with superstar Odell Beckham Jr. in the Giants passing game after signing a two-year, $11 million deal last summer.
Instead, New York’s wide receiving corps was just one of many things that went off the rails during a 3-13 season. Beckham and Marshall’s seasons were cut short due to injury, though the latter wasn’t much of a factor during his five games on the field as he recorded just 18 catches for 154 yards.
Had he stayed healthy, Marshall was on pace for his worst output since his rookie season with the Denver Broncos in 2006. The six-time Pro Bowler had eight seasons of 1,000 yards or more in the last 10, including a 1,502-yard campaign in 2015 in which he led the league with 14 receiving touchdowns.