Dez Bryant spent the brunt of his Monday sending out thank you messages on social media with many well-wishers wishing him a happy birthday.
Bryant turned 31 on Monday, and is hoping that he has a few more quality years left playing in the NFL. It’s almost been a full year since he signed on with the New Orleans Saints, only to tear his Achilles in just his second practice.
Bryant is now fully recovered from the injury and is being patient when it comes to gauging NFL teams’ interest. With the NFL trade deadline having come and gone, Bryant’s name will be popping up often over the next few weeks as contenders look to add through the playoff stretch through the waiver wire and elsewhere.
Here is Bryant working out last month with renowned trainer David Robinson.
As for teams that would be interested in landing Bryant, the Patriots look like the most obvious fit. New England desperately needs more firepower offensively, and they abstained from making a second trade at the deadline (they acquired Mohamed Sanu the week before) in order to have cap flexibility in November and December.
The Patriots routinely add veterans in free agency late in the year (Michael Floyd in 2016, James Harrison in 2017) and could land Bryant for dirt cheap money.
The Eagles are another contender that could have interest in giving Bryant a workout. Many were surprised that Howie Roseman did not make a trade for a wide receiver ahead of the deadline, and the team missed out on Josh Gordon last week on the waiver wire.
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Last year, Bryant was adamant about joining an NFC East team in order to get the opportunity to play the Cowboys twice a year. He even rejected a Ravens contract offer in the spring of 2018, mostly because he thought he’d have more appealing offers coming from the NFC.
Those offers never really came, and now – particularly after the injury – Bryant has little to no leverage.
And a third team that could make a move on a free agent wide out in the coming weeks are the Steelers, who are suddenly back in the AFC playoff picture at 4-4.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith mentioned the Steelers as a potential landing spot for Bryant this past spring, but with Ben Roethlisberger going down and the team’s slow start to this season – it seemed unlikely that there was a match in Pittsburgh.
Steelers GM Kevin Colbert is fixated on getting the Steelers into the postseason by any means necessary, as there was buzz that Colbert wanted a reunion with Le’Veon Bell last week.