The Cleveland Browns hosted veteran free agent wide receiver Dez Bryant on Thursday at team headquarters in Berea.
Since he was already in the building, Bryant popped in on the Cleveland Browns Daily show and dropped in a plug for his services, according to a Tweet from show host Nathan Zegura:
Well thats one of the perks of being in the building! @DezBryant just crashed @Browns_Daily and said “What’s up Cleveland!” Went on to say he likes the city, thinks he would look good back in orange and “we are just trying to work some things out.” #CostanzaShowOvah— Nathan Zegura (@NathanZegura) August 16, 2018
Bryant has been on the market since being released by the Dallas Cowboys in April. He turned down a three-year, $21 million contract offer from the Baltimore Ravens in May and, despite numerous teams across the NFL in need of a wide receiver, has not visited another team or received a contract offer since then.
Part of the reason for that is that Bryant reportedly wants to just sign for a single season and then become a free agent again to cash in after a big year. That could prove problematic, however, as si.com’s Andy Benoit pointed out a few months ago:
Bryant has said he wants a one-year prove-it deal. If he gets one, it will almost certainly be for less than $7 million in 2018, and he’ll almost certainly step into a situation that won’t give him a chance to post the numbers necessary for getting a bigger deal in 2019. Concern about Bryant’s willingness to tolerate such a situation is a small part of the reason he’s unsigned. But a big part of the reason is Bryant is simply no longer an intriguing starting wide receiver. He can only play outside. His route running has never been pristine. His speed takes too long to build up and underwhelms once it does. Also, he’s not twitchy.
With the Browns, Bryant would be the third or fourth option at best in the offense behind wide receiver Jarvis Landry, tight end David Njoku and running back Duke Johnson. If he is looking to post big numbers, or if he still sees himself as the player he was back in 2014, that could cause problems for the Browns.
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.
Bryant seems willing to come to Cleveland, if for no other reason than no other team seems to be interested in him at this time.
We should all find out soon enough if general manager John Dorsey and head coach Hue Jackson feel the same way.