The Saints have agreed to sign Dez Bryant, according to Jeff Duncan of The Times-Picayune (on Twitter). It’s a one-year pact that Bryant will formally ink on Thursday, according to Ian Rapoport and Jane Slater of NFL.com (Twitter link). The two sides started negotiating shortly after Bryant’s workout on Tuesday afternoon and reached agreement on Wednesday morning.
The deal brings Bryant’s lengthy unemployment to an end. The Cowboys released Bryant in April, after most of the league’s free agent dollars were already spent. Weeks later, the veteran rejected a three-year, $21MM offer from the Ravens, a decision that has been panned by many. Bryant ultimately got what he wanted, a short-term deal that will allow him to test free agency again in 2019. However, he missed out on the first half of the season and significant cash.
Bryant averaged 91 catches for 1,312 yards and 14 touchdowns between 2012 and 2014, but his averages plummeted to 50 catches for 678 yards and six TDs over the last three years. He also missed ten games due to injury between 2015 and 2016, and some say he wasn’t giving 100% towards the end of his run in Dallas. Some say that Bryant isn’t the player that he once was, but the veteran is motivated to prove the doubters wrong.
All in all, the Saints believe he’ll offer more than Brandon Marshall or Kamar Aiken, two receivers who also worked out for New Orleans on Tuesday. Jeremy Kerley was also scheduled to audition, but weather interfered with his flight.
The Saints haven’t lost since their season opener against the Buccaneers and lead the NFC South with a 7-1 record. After losing supporting receivers Ted Ginn Jr. and Tommylee Lewis to injury earlier this year, Bryant is expected to provide a boost behind talented starters Michael Thomas, Cameron Meredith, and Tre’Quan Smith.
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