Dez Bryant expected to receive big-time free agency interest, but it just hasn’t happened. These five NFL teams could still use the talented wideout.
There’s no question that Dez Bryant expected to be a hot commodity on the free-agent market when the Dallas Cowboys chose to release him. Unfortunately, interest in the talented wide receiver has been tepid at best. Bryant and his representatives may be wondering if he’ll get a roster spot in advance of training camp.
The reality is that while Bryant isn’t the Pro Bowl pass-catcher he was in his younger days, he can still help several NFL teams. He isn’t a transcendent talent anymore, but he can help a team in need of a physical wide receiver who can work the middle of the field.
Some teams are certainly scared off by the type of contract he wants. Bryant seems dead set on signing a one-year contract that will allow him to reestablish his value before returning to free agency next summer. That’s why he reportedly turned down a multiyear offer from the Baltimore Ravens right around the draft.
Given the lack of interest in signing him to date, Bryant would be wise to reevaluate his priorities. Instead of looking for a big money one year deal, he should be looking for a team that can actually use him on the field. The real question is whether or not Bryant will jump on his next offer or wait until a big name receiver suffers an injury. If he’s smart, he’ll take a chance with one of these five teams who can still use a player with his particular set of skills.
5. New Orleans Saints
At first glance, Drew Brees has an offensive that is absolutely full of weapons. Even without Mark Ingram for the first four games of the season, the Saints still look loaded on offense.
Closer inspection does reveal one potential weakness for Sean Payton’s passing attack. The team hoped the signing of Coby Fleener would give Brees a big target who can stretch the middle of the field. Instead, concussion issues forced the team to release Fleener this offseason. That leaves Ben Watson as the team’s starting tight end.
Watson can do a solid job of run blocking and he’s a reasonably reliable safety valve for Brees. He does not, however, possess the same sort of upside that Bryant still offers. Watson simply can’t threaten a defensive secondary down the seam.
That’s a skill Bryant still possesses. He might not be satisfied playing as a tight end of sorts, but that’s what he is at this point in his career. Bryant could do real damage in the slot for the Saints.
His lack of ability to separate from opposing defensive backs would also be minimized by Brees’ ability to throw the ball into tight windows. He wouldn’t need to get that open to find catches in New Orleans. The Saints might not think Bryant is worth the trouble in the locker room, but he could really help them on the field.