Dez Bryant may not be the dynamic wide receiver he once was, but he remains a weapon that could help an offence, particularly inside the red zone.
After being released by the Dallas Cowboys, where he was a franchise cornerstone for so long, Bryant will be a sought-after playmaker in the open market.
Here are four teams Bryant could sign with for next season.
Any conversation on where Bryant will land has to start in the NFC East. That’s not baseless speculation either, that’s based on words straight from the man’s own mouth as Bryant reportedly said “I’ll see you guys twice this year” on his way out of Dallas’ building.
Looking at the Cowboys’ three divisional foes, it becomes clear that Washington would make the most sense for Bryant, considering their cap space far exceeds what the New York Giants or Philadelphia Eagles have to offer.
The Giants are especially out of the race because they’ll likely have to hand Odell Beckham Jr a monster contract, which would make Bryant not just a luxury, but one they would be priced out of.
Philadelphia could certainly use Bryant after losing Torrey Smith and Trey Burton, and they could offer the wideout a chance to stick it to Dallas by contending for a Super Bowl. But the Eagles rank second-to-last in the league in cap space, according to Over the Cap, which would make this a difficult fit, money-wise.
Washington already possess a number of receiving weapons in Jamison Crowder, Jordan Reed and Josh Doctson, as well as the newly-signed Paul Richardson, but they could choose to bolster the group and give Alex Smith more to work with, especially near the end zone.
The Ravens have been committed to overhauling their receiving corps after giving Joe Flacco a relatively weak unit to work with last season.
They already signed Michael Crabtree away from Oakland and added former Arizona speedster John Brown. The addition of Bryant would fit nicely with Crabtree on the opposite sideline and give Baltimore a pair of receivers who can go up and fight for the ball.
As far as cap space, Baltimore have $10.7m to work with, which should be enough to work out a contract.
Four teams that some believe could show varying levels of interest in free-agent WR Dez Bryant:— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 14, 2018
*Arizona - Issue is little money left.
*Baltimore - Room even with Michael Crabtree.
*Buffalo - Wouldn’t be NFC East, but AFC East.
*Green Bay - A replacement for Jordy Nelson.
After a promising finish to last season with Jimmy Garoppolo under centre, the 49ers appear to building great things for the long-haul. It may not be a win-now situation for Bryant, but it’s certainly an up-and-coming team that could contend sooner than expected.
San Francisco have oodles of cap space to play around with ($47m) and need a receiver of Bryant’s ilk, size and ability to be a red zone threat for Garoppolo.
Pierre Garcon is still a sure-handed possession receiver and Marquise Goodwin has his strengths as a downfield threat, but no one on the 49ers roster right now can put as much pressure on opposing secondaries as Bryant is capable of.
They’ve been moving on from players left and right to save money, so turning around and handing a decent chunk to an aging veteran like Bryant may not make the most sense, even with $9.3m available in cap space.
However, the Seahawks are in need of some size in the receiving corps after losing Jimmy Graham and Richardson, and Bryant would slide in well as a primary target for Russell Wilson alongside Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett.
Plus, Pete Carroll has never been hesitant to add star names or big personalities to his locker room, trusting the culture he has established.
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