Dez Bryant might not be a superstar anymore. His per-game numbers have been on the decline since his injury-shortened 2015 season. He can be a pain in the ass.
But he wants to play for the Patriots and maybe for cheap*. That's good enough for me. Sign the guy and find the answers to those questions later.
- MORE PATRIOTS - Brady shows real trust in Phillip Dorsett
As you no doubt have heard by now, the nearly 30-year-old free agent receiver tweeted this Sunday:
Naw I’m ok.. I rather go somewhere I can show case my skills for real.. if I line up next to Gronk hogan Edelman I’m for sure getting a 1 on 1 match up plus I won’t be getting criticized controlled for expressing my love for the game..Washington is cool as well https://t.co/lywVw8QzIa— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) September 9, 2018
There were also several other tweets suggesting he's still not over the whole Cowboys thing, but let's focus on the Patriots.
If a veteran signs after Week 1, only 25 percent of his salary is guaranteed. That could be appealing to the teams that opted not to knock his socks off with an offer prior to the season.
Which brings us to money and the asterisk I tossed into that earlier graf. Bryant reportedly rejected a three-year, $21 million contract from the Ravens and later passed on a pact from the Browns reportedly worth under $5 million a year. A couple of weeks ago, Mike Florio reported that Bryant was "believed by some to be waiting for a better team."
You can't take that last part, add in Sunday's tweet and not think the Pats have a chance of getting this guy on a one-year deal with little guaranteed money. Bryant's at least interested in the team, money aside. The Patriots, coming off a game in which only one wide receiver had more than one reception(!), could clearly use a body at the position, especially if it comes with Bryant's talent.
And the talent's been there throughout Bryant's career. Hell, Belichick should know more than most how good Bryant is. The Pats drafted his college quarterback Zac Robinson back in 2010 and he was rough. Couldn't complete passes. Didn't make it out of camp. Know what probably got Robinson drafted? Bryant being able to catch his not-so-great passes. If Bryant still has it, imagine him with Tom Brady throwing him the ball.
There are obvious reasons to be wary, but Belichick has proven fearless when it comes to acquiring wideouts. He's shown with Phillip Dorsett, Cordarrelle Patterson and Michael Floyd that they're interested in first-round receivers even if they weren't "hits." He certainly showed with Randy Moss that he'd take on a "diva" receiver if the price was right. Hell, he traded a first-round pick for a ball-hungry wideout less than two years ago.
Signing Bryant would fall in line with a lot of those moves. He'd be taking advantage of an opportunity to add talent on the cheap, and if the guy proves to be a nuisance, he'll be gone with the Pats having lost nothing but a relatively small amount of money. It's worth the risk.