Dez Bryant reportedly will sign with the New Orleans Saints — thanks to the New England Patriots?

Colin Cowherd explained Wednesday on FS1 why Bryant should send a thank you note to Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon upon signing with the Saints.

Basically, Cowherd believes New Orleans saw the success Gordon has had since joining New England and decided it was worth rolling the dice on Bryant, another polarizing ex-Pro Bowl wide receiver with both baggage and upside.

Gordon was traded to the Patriots from the Cleveland Browns in September after several tumultuous seasons in which he was suspended multiple times for failed drug tests. The fresh start has helped, as the 27-year-old has 22 catches for 396 yards with two touchdowns in six games with New England. He totaled a season-high five catches for 130 yards with a touchdown Sunday night in the Patriots’ 31-17 win over the Green Bay Packers.

It would be unfair to expect similar production from Bryant, who just turned 30 on Sunday. The three-time Pro Bowl selection already showed signs of regression before being released by the Dallas Cowboys in April and the Saints’ offense has been firing on all cylinders even without him. It’s unclear what his role will be in New Orleans.

But there’s no denying Bryant’s track record since being drafted in the first round (24th overall) in 2010. He averaged 91 catches for 1,311.7 yards with 13.7 touchdowns during a three-year stretch from 2012 to 2014 and still caught 69 passes for 838 yards with six TDs last season for the Cowboys. Perhaps he still has something left in the tank as he joins one of the NFL’s best teams.

And perhaps New Orleans really was swayed by Gordon’s success in New England. After all, as Cowherd notes, the NFL historically has been a “copycat” league.

Thumbnail photo via Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports Images