Another day, another round of the Cleveland Browns reported interest in free agent wide receiver Dez Bryant.
With the team back at practice in preparation for Friday’s preseason game against the Buffalo Bills, the attention was on the possible pairing of the team and the 29-year-old Bryant, who was released in the offseason after spending eight seasons with the Dallas Cowboys.
Bryant has been vocal about the possibility of coming to town, most notably late last week when he claimed on Twitter that he was coming to Cleveland this week for a visit:
Starting my visits next week...I’m coming to the Land to see you Mr Dorsey— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) August 10, 2018
There has been no official word from the Browns on the visit, which has only kept people speculating about whether or not there is real interest on the part of the team.
Wide receiver Jarvis Landry had possibly the most interesting reply to the situation when asked about Bryant by Aditi Kinkhabwala of the NFL Network:
In #Browns receiving group that should include Jarvis Landry, Josh Gordon and Antonio Callaway, Dez Bryant may not be a key option, much less play tons. Asked Landry if he thought DB could stomach that: "If I know Dez, sure he wants to catch balls, but he really wants to win."— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) August 13, 2018
The Browns are certainly building toward a better future, but if winning is high on Bryant’s wish list, at least in 2018, then Cleveland is not the right place for him.
And if Bryant still wants to be treated like a No. 1 wide receiver, well, that’s going to be a problem. Bryant’s production has fallen off the past few years as he has not posted a 1,000-yard receiving season since 2014. Last season he finished with 69 receptions for 838 yards, six touchdowns and an average of 12.1 yards per reception - all the lowest in Bryant’s career for a season where he played all 16 games.
The idea of giving targets to Bryant that could otherwise be going to players like tight end David Njoku, running back Duke Johnson or wide receiver Antonio Callaway should be enough to give every Browns fan pause.
Bryant would likely be the fourth or even fifth option in the passing game, which doesn’t seem as if it would go over very well with a player who always wanted to be the center of attention in Dallas.
The Browns are not the only team potentially looking for a wide receiver, either, and the fact that there seems to be little interest in Bryant from around the league should be another warning sign against bringing him to town.
There is one sure way to end the speculation, which is for general manager John Dorsey to come out and say the Browns are busy helping the players who are in camp “earn their stripes” and wish Bryant good fortune as he tries to find a new team.