The last time Dez Bryant caught a pass in an NFL game was Dec. 31, 2017. It earned the Cowboys a first down, but wasn’t a memorable moment, just a short 7-yard pass on the right side of the field. Bryant finished the game with 3 catches on 8 targets for 24 yards, which ended the worst year of his career where he played more than 9 games.
Fast forward to today and Bryant, coming off a torn Achilles suffered in his second practice with the New Orleans Saints last year, is jumping again, or so sayeth his Twitter.
This is great for Bryant. A torn Achilles is no joke, especially for a 30-year-old receiver. But there’s the rub. Who is going to sign a 30-going-on-31 wide receiver who hasn’t played a down since New Year’s Eve 2017 and struggled getting separation from corners the last time he played? And that’s not even mentioning Bryant’s combustible history.
Bryant said he would like to come back to the Saints. He also said he would come back to the Cowboys. The Saints need help at wide receiver behind Michael Thomas. The have Amari Cooper out wide and Randall Cobb in the slot, but they could use another player out wide too. But either team could add someone in the draft, or sign someone like Michael Crabtree. They have a ton of options to fill that hole.
The list of free agent wide receivers still available goes much deeper than Crabtree. Pierre Garcon and Jermaine Kearse are still available. So it Bryant’s former teammate, Terrance Williams. While none of them were as good as Dez in his prime, at least they played last year.
Perhaps the XFL is an option for Bryant when the league kicks off in February 2020. Some team would likely fork over big bucks for Bryant’s marketing potential. But something tells me Dez wants another crack at the NFL and an opportunity to win. Both of those requirements do, however, limit his options.
There are plenty of teams that could use a receiver with Bryant’s experience, but it’s going to take a perfect set of circumstances for it to work. Like the Saints last year, injuries will likely play a role in a team taking a chance on Bryant. And until that time, we’ll likely just be getting updates from Bryant’s Twitter account.