The highly-anticipated meeting between Dez Bryant and the Dallas Cowboys apparently did not go too well as the eight-year veteran wide receiver was released on Friday afternoon.
Bryant himself confirmed the news, first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, via his Twitter:
— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) April 13, 2018
The meeting between Bryant and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was meant to straighten out the receiver’s contract situation. He was owed $12.5 million with a $16.5 million cap hit.
It was a steep price to pay for a receiver that hasn’t had a 1,000-yard season since 2014, averaging just 678 yards per season over the past three years.
Regardless, Bryant becomes one of the biggest free agents available and will be approached by plenty of teams throughout the league.
Here are a few that could be interested:
The defending Super Bowl champions have a solid one-two punch of Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor, though the book is still out on the latter after he came out of nowhere from being one of the worst receivers in the league to an invaluable supporting pass catcher who put up 768 yards and eight touchdowns.
A healthy Carson Wentz could be in trouble should Agholor revert to his old ways as more pressure will be put on him to perform in 2018 after the Eagles traded Torrey Smith to the Carolina Panthers.
It sounds like Bryant wants to stay in the NFC East to try and haunt his old team. According to Mickey Spagnola of DallasCowboys.com, Bryant warned management that he would see them twice this year.
New England Patriots
The Patriots have lost Danny Amendola to free agency while trading Brandin Cooks to the Los Angeles Rams, a move that was initially thought to set them up for a run at Giants star Odell Beckham Jr.
While Beckham is now off the market, Bryant might be the next best thing to give Tom Brady another big target to join Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski… if he’s not traded.
There is little disputing that Matt Ryan has great targets in Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu, but the Falcons are lacking a legitimate third option that could raise its offense to yet another level.
Jones and Sanu put up 88 and 67 catches respectively last year, but Atlanta’s third-leading wide receiver, Taylor Gabriel, had just 33 catches. Bryant could put up career numbers in an offense in which Jones commands so much attention.