This offseason will have it’s share of interesting free agent signings, but none more interesting then Dez Bryant. Although Bryant isn’t an unrestricted free agent until 2020, the Cowboys may look to move on from him soon if he doesn’t restructure his contract. At the start of the 2018 Bryant will count for $16.5 million against the Cowboys cap, but only $8 million if they release him. Releasing a 29 year old WR who has lost a step and had a case of the drops in 2017 may actually be worth it. The question is, however, who is willing to take in this tarnished piece of metal and restore it to its beautiful luster?
First and foremost the most logical and most likely scenario is that the Cowboys are able to renegotiate his contract and he is a Cowboy for atleast 3 more years if not for life. Although who would have thought Jerry Rice would be a Raider, or Randy Moss a Patriot, or even Favre a Viking? (yuck) The point is: the NFL is a business, teams and players don’t stay with each other forever.
The first landing spot that attracted me was Oakland. With Crabtree possibly on the move The Raiders would likely look for an experienced weapon for QB Derek Carr to throw to opposite Amari Cooper. Dez wouldn’t be the best fit to fill that void but he would definitely add another element to that offense.
Another team that would be on the market for Dez is San Francisco. With Jimmy G fitting in well the 49ers next step is to get this stud some weapons. A talented veteran like Bryant would complement this offense nicely.
How about Cleveland? Kizer has found his favorite target in Josh Gordon. Now imagine what would happen if the safety helps double Gordon over the top and the number two corner is left to cover Dez Bryant on the other side of the field by himself. That’s a recipe for points.
Dez in Kansas City is fun to think about. Similar to Dez in Cleveland. Bryant would be the number two WR and likely draw single coverage. A big difference, though, is the QB play. Coming off a year full of dropped balls Dez might consider an accurate QB when settling on his next destination.
The Tennessee Titans just tried the whole “restoring an aging WR to his former glory” thing with Eric Decker. They saw how well that worked so they probably aren’t going to do that again anytime soon.
The New York Jets are the weird kid nobody wants to sit by at lunch. Until they do something notable, no free agents really want to go hang out there. Especially Dez Bryant.
What if Dez went somewhere inside the division? What if Dez went to Washington? The Redskins young receivers aren’t quite there yet and giving Cousins a weapon like Bryant might be enough to make him stay in Washington long term.
Lastly, if Dez truly wants to extend his career he would go to a team that’s notorious for taking aging wide receivers and making them relevant again. Dez in New England. Bryant will surely get that “superbowl itch” sometime soon and there is always that one team that is the favorite EVERY YEAR. Although I could see this benefitting Bryant much more then it benefits the Patriots.
Nevertheless, some interesting possibilities to keep an eye on this offseason. Dez Bryant is still a talented WR that can prosper if used the right way. His future in the NFL is interesting, that is for sure.