Dallas has released Dez Bryant after eight seasons. Clearly his play on the field has slipped of late. 2014 was the most recent season in which he racked up 1,000 yards. Bryant doesn’t play with the same explosion that he once did and gaining separation has obviously become harder for this soon-to-be-30-year-old to create. That doesn’t mean his career is nearly over however.
Bryant was a $16.5 million dollar cap hit this year and obviously this opens up some spending room for the Cowboys. But in that case, shouldn’t they have made this move a month ago when there were more free agents on the market? This leaves Dallas extremely thin with their pass catchers, but that is a topic that will be covered early next week in the State of the Cowboys Address.
In the meantime, which teams might be interested in adding Bryant? Teams that are in total rebuild mode were not considered nor were teams that are currently very tight up against the salary cap. Here is a six pack of teams in alphabetical order that should kick the tires on Bryant.
Arizona-Larry Fitzgerald and Dez Bryant? Wow, if this were only five years ago. Similar in body types, but dissimilar in demeanor; these two would certainly make a formidable pair near the goal line. Obviously this wouldn’t be the long-term solution at wide receiver for Arizona. Fitzgerald and Bryant aren’t exactly deep threats any more, but it would make it easier to focus on other need areas of the team in the draft while staying pretty solid at the position for 2018.
Baltimore-Seattle and Baltimore don’t have as much cap space as the others listed here. The Ravens have been dreadful at drafting wide receivers. They have already addressed the position by signing Michael Crabtree and John Brown. By adding Bryant, they could concentrate on other offensive needs in the draft and live with the wide receivers on hand. Bryant seems like a fit here in much the same way Steve Smith did a few years back as a once-great tough guy with a nasty edge to his game and a lot to prove. That sounds like a Raven to me.
Buffalo-Buffalo is closer to total rebuilder rather than big time contender, but they were in the playoffs a year ago and their wide receiver stable is poor. Does this team need another wide out that is short on speed though? And one that could rock the boat from an attitude perspective? Do you think Bryant would be excited about relocating to Buffalo? The need at wide receiver is certainly there, but the more you dig into this one, the less enticing it becomes.
Jacksonville-Bryant has his warts and would not be an immediate replacement for Allen Robinson. But it could still be argued that he is a better player right now than Marquis Lee or Donte Moncrief. This is a tough-minded organization with Super Bowl aspirations and the idea of getting Blake Bortles any help possible should never be quickly dismissed.
Seattle-As mentioned, the Seahawks are a little tight on funds at the moment, but shuffling of money can always be arranged to fit in a desired player and Seattle still has a little over $9 million in cap space. Jimmy Graham is listed as a tight end, but Bryant could hypothetically do much of what Graham did in this offense, especially near the goal line. He is also a much different type of receiver than Doug Baldwin or Tyler Lockett and would give Seattle’s pass catchers some much needed size and physicality.
Washington-Obviously the Redskins have played against Bryant for his entire career and know exactly what he brings to the table. Jamison Crowder is entrenched as the slot guy while Josh Doctson and Paul Richardson are the big play downfield receivers. Bryant would bring something to this unit that the Redskins just don’t have right now as well.