It sounds like Dez Bryant wants to play football again, and soon — but is there a market for the former All-Pro?
Bryant said earlier this week he remains hopeful he can return to the NFL and would like to do so this season. In fact, Bryant said Wednesday in a tweet he feels like he could be two weeks away from reaching out to teams.
It’s been nearly two years since Bryant last appeared in an NFL game. He played in all 16 games for the Cowboys in 2017, catching 69 passes for 838 yards and six touchdowns. Decent numbers, yes, but also a far cry from Bryant’s prime production when he caught 41 touchdowns over a three-year stretch from 2012 to 2015.
Still, Bryant’s large frame — 6-foot-2, 220 pounds — might make him an intriguing option for contenders looking to boost their receiving corps, especially as it pertains to red-zone offense.
Would the New England Patriots — who released wideout Josh Gordon last week — be interested? Perhaps New England first needs to see what it has in first-round draft pick N’Keal Harry, who should make his NFL debut after the Patriots’ Week 10 bye. But if he’s not up to speed, maybe reaching out to Bryant or taking his call would make some sense.
Unsurprisingly, oddsmakers are willing to bet on the possibility, as the Patriots are one of a few teams with the best odds to sign Bryant at BetOnline.ag.
Odds to sign Bryant:
New Orleans Saints +150
New England Patriots +400
Green Bay Packers +450
Buffalo Bills +700
Seattle Seahawks +700
Baltimore Ravens +800
Truthfully, there’s really not a ton to read into with these odds. They’re made to induce action (not to mention get people talking about the sportsbook, which, mission accomplished), and it’s unlikely they’re a reflection of any sort of hard news or informed speculation.
But signing Bryant certainly would make sense for all these teams. Bryant is familiarwith New Orleans, having signed with the Saints last season before tearing his Achilles. Outside of Davante Adams, Green Bay doesn’t have much in the way of veteran wideouts, and Buffalo, Seattle and Baltimore are all good young teams who could use a player or two to get them to the next level.
As far as the Patriots go, it’s becoming harder and harder to deny quarterback Tom Brady feels far more comfortable with veteran receivers than younger players. Even if Bryant doesn’t have much left in the tank, he’s still been around for a long time and theoretically would be able to pick up the Patriots offense quicker.