Is Dez Bryant a realistic option for the New England Patriots?
Dez Bryant had a bounce back season with the Saints in 2018, but is currently unemployed. But he says he still wants to play.
Dez Bryant was once regarded as one of the very best receivers in football when he was a member of the Dallas Cowboys. Between the years 2012-2104, Bryant surpasses 1300 yards each season and also found the endzone at least 12 times all three years. More recently, Bryant has bounced around the league a little bit. His production with the Cowboys began to dip, as did as his level of play with the addition of Dak Prescott. He has battled some injuries and spent last season with the New Orleans Saints and their high-powered offense. Bryant saw an uptick in his production in his year with the Saints as opposed to his last few seasons in Dallas. He was only signed to a one year deal and struggled to find a new home for this season. After the season started, Bryant stopped looking for a team to play for, but this week, he has taken to social media to let everyone know that he is ready to play and once again looking for a team to sign him. So is there a chance that he could end up in New England?
The Patriots have had receivers come and go all season, and are still awaiting the return of their first round draft pick, N’Keal Harry. Three of their top four receivers at the start of the season are no longer with the team, the receivers that are still there are struggling to stay healthy, and the a few are still getting familiar with the playbook. As it currently stands, the Patriots receiving core is made up of Julian Edelman, Mohamed Sanu, Phillip Dorsett, Jakobi Meyers, Gunner Olszweski, and N’Keal Harry. These guys all have a defined role in the offense,so before just deciding whether or not it would be a good idea to sign him, you need to figure out who he would replace. It’s easy to just say that he would replace the lowest guy on the depth chart, in this case that would
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Olszeweski, but he is New England’s primary punt returner. Last week we saw Mohamed Sanu take a few reps in that position in the Ravens’ game, but did not really see enough to know if he could take over that responsibility indefinitely. Phillip Dorsett has experience returning punts, but not with New England. That was his job back in Indianapolis, but he has not been the primary return man on a team for a long time. It is hard to see where Bryant fits in to this receiver room without disrupting responsibilities.
Bryant also gave a two-week notice as when he would be reaching out to teams about signing with them. This means it would not be until after the Texans game in week 11 that he would even have a chance to join the team. The Patriots currently have nearly four million in cap space, but I just believe that money could be spent smarter if the opportunity presents itself. Bryant is still a very good player, but the Patriots’ offense needs to have some consistency at the receiver position this late in the season.