Dez Bryant

Latest On Ravens, Dez Bryant

Dez Bryant did, in fact, work out for the Ravens on Thursday. This was the former Cowboys All-Pro’s first known workout since he suffered an Achilles tear in November 2018.

The Ravens, though, appear content for the time being. They are not expected to sign the veteran wideout at this time, Ed Werder of ESPN.com tweets. While the Ravens have not ruled out a Bryant pact, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, they are not in a rush to add the eight-year NFL vet (Twitter link).

This marks the second connection between the Ravens and Bryant. Shortly after the Cowboys let Bryant walk in free agency two years ago, the Ravens offered him a three-year, $21MM deal. Bryant turned that proposal down and remained in free agency for several months before signing a less lucrative Saints deal and ending up on the team’s IR list. Bryant, 31, has not played since the 2017 season.

Behind Marquise Brown, Baltimore has some question marks at wide receiver. But Bryant may not be asked to help provide answers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens To Audition Dez Bryant 

The Ravens are set to bring in Dez Bryant for a tryout, according to Tom Pelissero and Jane Slater of NFL.com (on Twitter). Bryant is expected to travel to Baltimore sometime this week and make his case for a spot on the roster.

[RELATED: Ravens Won’t Rule Out Antonio Brown]

Bryant has not played since 2017, but his camp says he’s in shape and eager to get back on the field. Of course, this isn’t Bryant’s first rodeo with the Ravens. The longtime Cowboys star famously rejected Baltimore’s three-year, $21MM pitch in 2018 without a viable Plan B. Bryant then sat out for much of the year before landing with the Saints in November. Unfortunately, he tore his Achilles before he could make his New Orleans debut, prompting him to dedicate 2019 to rehab.

Bryant was a three-time Pro Bowler in Dallas with three-straight seasons of at least 1,200 yards. Things started to tail off after he inked a five-year, $70MM contract with the Cowboys. He was= was limited to nine games in 2015 and underwent ankle and foot surgeries in the offseason. In 2016, he bounced back with a career-high 15.9 yards per grab, though the catch and yardage totals were not as gaudy as his best ones. In 2017, he started in all 16 regular season games, but his production did not match the contract. The Cowboys cut him in the following April – crummy timing that resulted in tepid interest at his asking price.

Now on the verge of his age-32 season, Bryant is looking at reduced expectations and earning power. Still, Bryant badly wants to get back on the field, and he could have his chance with the Ravens.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dez Bryant Receiving NFL Interest

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Dez Bryant on the field, but he could be on the verge of making his return. The former Cowboys star has received calls from teams interested in potentially signing him, according to his coach Steven Sims (Twitter link via John Keim of ESPN.com).

[RELATED: Cowboys Considering Holding Training Camp In Texas]

Bryant has spent the last several months training and Sims says he’s lost about 15-20 pounds in his post-rehab regimen. We haven’t heard much from the outspoken wide receiver in a few months, but at last check, he was lobbying the Cowboys for a reunion. When asked, owner Jerry Jones didn’t dismiss the possibility, though that was before the start of free agency and the NFL Draft. Today, they have a dozen receivers on the roster, headlined by star Amari Cooper and promising first-round pick CeeDee Lamb.

Bryant, 32 in November, posted at least 1,200 yards in three seasons for Dallas (2012-2014) and earned three Pro Bowl trips (2013, 2014, 2016). His 2014 showing – 88 catches for 1,320 yards and a league-leading 16 touchdowns – earned him a five-year, $70MM extension. After that, injuries started to slow him down. In 2016, he bounced back with a career-high 15.9 yards per catch, but he couldn’t sustain that in 2017. Despite turning in his first fully healthy season in years, Bryant finished with just 838 receiving yards in his last time out.

Bryant famously rejected a three-year, $21MM offer from the Ravens, only to sign a short-term midseason deal with the Saints in 2018. He never took the field for New Orleans, thanks to a ruptured Achilles.

After spending last year away from the game, Bryant is itching to get back on the field. And, according to his coach, there are teams ready to help facilitate.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cowboys Notes: Jerry, Dez, Witten

This is not exactly surprising given that he’ll turn 78 in October, but Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is not planning to remain at the helm beyond the expiration of the next CBA, as Jon Machota of The Athletic tweets. Of course, the proposed CBA that will soon be voted on by the league’s workforce is another 10-year agreement, so it makes sense that Jones, who has owned the club since 1989, would be prepared to step down around the time the players and owners sit down again in another decade or so.

However, he is adamant that the proposed CBA is the right move for the league and should be ratified by the players.

Now for more from Dallas:

  • Former star wideout Dez Bryant hasn’t played since 2017, but he wants to continue his NFL career and recently expressed his desire to rejoin the Cowboys. For what it’s worth, Jones said he hasn’t ruled it out, as Clarence Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tweets. Jones even revealed a little more than we may have liked, saying he has considered the matter while in the shower.
  • Jones would also like tight end Jason Witten to return to the team, as Hill notes (Twitter link). However, it sounds like Jones has a reduced role in mind for Witten, and it remains to be seen whether Witten — who is open to signing elsewhere — will be receptive to that.
  • Likewise, Jones wants to retain pass-rusher Robert Quinn (Twitter link via Hill). The last we heard, the Cowboys had not discussed a new contract with Quinn — understandable, as the club has bigger fish to fry at the moment — but Quinn posted 11.5 sacks in a resurgent 2019 campaign, and Jones hopes there is a way he can keep him in Dallas.
  • Another member of the Cowboys’ front seven, Tyrone Crawford, is under contract through 2020, but the Cowboys could save $6.9MM by cutting him. That could be tempting, given that Crawford played in just four games in 2019 and had surgery on both of his hips. However, the 30-year-old said he could return to the field this spring, and Jones expects him to be on the roster, though he is definitely a restructure candidate (Twitter link via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News).
  • Cowboys DE Michael Bennett signed a new contract with the Cowboys after Dallas acquired him from the Patriots in October that allows him to hit free agency this year. As such, his comments to ESPN’s Josina Anderson indicating that he wants to play in 2020 are not surprising (Twitter link). It sounds as though Bennett, 34, wants to hook on with a contender, and there should be a market for his services.

Dez Bryant Wants To Play For Cowboys

Recently, Cowboys VP Stephen Jonesphone has been blowing up with texts from Dez Bryant, who is hoping to reunite with his former club. This week, Bryant directly confirmed his desire to sign with the Cowboys. 

[RELATED: Cowboys VP On Dez Bryant]

Of course, that’s home,” Bryant told the local FOX affiliate (via USA Today’s Lorenzo Reyes). “That’s home. And potentially being able to play with Dak [Prescott], [Ezekiel Elliott], Amari Cooper, Randall Cobb, Michael Gallup, those guys, [Blake] Jarwin – I think that would be great. I understand that’s their team, but I feel like they have the right pieces to go to the Super Bowl, and I feel like I can help be a part of that, if possible. But every night, I’m just working, grinding, trying to get on that field either way.”

On the verge of what would be his age-32 season and a couple seasons removed from his last NFL game, Bryant is taking a realistic approach to free agency this time around. Once one of the league’s most notable wide receivers, he seems aware of the NFL’s perception of him with regards to his age, late-career decline, rust, and personality.

Bryant was a three-time Pro Bowler in Dallas with three-straight seasons of at least 1,200 yards. After his impressive run, he inked a five-year, $70MM contract with the Cowboys. That’s when things started to tail off – Bryant was limited to nine games in ’15 and underwent ankle and foot surgeries in the offseason. In 2016, he bounced back with a career-high 15.9 yards per grab, though the catch and yardage totals were not as gaudy as his best ones. In 2017, he started in all 16 regular season games, but his production did not match the contract. The Cowboys cut him in the following April – crummy timing that resulted in tepid interest at his asking price.

Heavily criticized for rejecting a three-year, $21MM offer from the Ravens, Bryant sat until the midpoint of the season when he signed a low-cost one-year deal with the Saints. Soon after, he ruptured his Achilles tendon.

After dedicating the 2019 season to rehab and training, Bryant is anxious to retake the field. However, he says he won’t consider the XFL.

Nah, not at all,” said Bryant when asked about Vince McMahon’s reboot. “I know I can still play. That’s not an issue for me. I have high confidence in myself. No disrespect to the XFL, I just know I can play in (the NFL), that’s not a question.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dez Bryant Wants To Return To Cowboys

Could Dez Bryant reunite with the Cowboys? Cowboys VP Stephen Jones says the wide receiver has reached out to him and he’s not ruling out the possibility of signing the veteran.

He has texted me that he would like to come back,” Jones said (via Clarence Hill of the Star Telegram). “We have nothing but great respect for Dez and what he accomplished here. Certainly, as we look forward into the future we look at all opportunities and all potential players that could maybe help us out.”

There haven’t been advanced discussions regarding Bryant just yet, however. Jones explained that he has only started discussing personnel with head coach Mike McCarthy. The two haven’t made determinations on their own free agents either, so Jones says nothing has been decided regarding tight end Jason Witten or linebacker Sean Lee.

Bryant spent eight years with the Cowboys, racking up 531 catches, nearly 7,500 yards, and a franchise-high 73 receiving touchdowns. His run included three straight seasons of at least 88 grabs, 1,200 yards, and 12 touchdowns. During that window from 2012-2014, Bryant was one of the league’s best receivers, and the Cowboys gave him a lucrative contract to reflect his production.

Of course, things didn’t end too well for Bryant and the Cowboys. In his last three seasons with Dallas, Bryant failed to top 900 yards. Then, the Cowboys dropped him in April of 2018, which put him on the curb after most of the NFL’s available free agent dollars had been allocated. Midway through the ’18 season, Bryant hooked on with the Saints. He never suited up for them, however, thanks to an Achilles tear in practice. Last year, Bryant was away from the NFL and training for an eventual return.

Bryant, a three-time Pro Bowler, will turn 32 in November.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dez Bryant Eyeing NFL Comeback

Dez Bryant is looking to make his NFL return ASAP. This week, the former Cowboys wide receiver took to Twitter to announce that he’s “feeling good” and intends to reach out to teams in the next couple of weeks. 

After departing from the Cowboys last year, Bryant hooked on with the Saints. Unfortunately, his season ended before it began when he suffered a torn Achilles tendon. Finally, the veteran says he’s ready to rock.

The Eagles would be one logical fit for Bryant after losing DeSean Jackson to a core muscle injury. However, they’ve reunited with Jordan Matthews, so they may be set on the WR depth chart.

Bryant, 31, has not played since the 2017 season. He notoriously sat out much of last season and declined multiple offers, including a lucrative three-year, $21MM pitch from the Ravens, before joining the Saints midway through the season.

This time around, it’s unlikely that he’ll see anything close to a $7MM AAV, or much in the way of guaranteed money beyond 2019.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Saints Interested In Dez Bryant Return

Dez Bryant‘s Saints run did not produce any game action, the former All-Pro’s New Orleans tenure including brief practice work before a torn Achilles’ tendon sent him to IR.

But the Saints are curious about what Bryant has left. They would like Bryant to return, according to NFL.com’s Jane Slater (via Pro Football Talk).

Now 30, Bryant has not played since the 2017 season. He notoriously sat out much of last season, declining multiple offers, and wanted to re-enter free agency in 2019. Although Bryant is back in free agency, his Achilles injury scuttled his plan. Another one-year deal is almost certain for the former Cowboys standout.

New Orleans has go-to wideout Michael Thomas, who is entering a contract year, but none of its other receivers solidified themselves as a reliable option last season. The Saints’ lack of an upper-echelon tight end affected their passing game as well, but the Drew Brees-led offense obviously was one of the league’s best. Bryant, if he’s healthy, could fit as a possession-based auxiliary target, however.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: CBA, Cowboys, Coates, Dez Bryant, Broncos Ownership

Many current and former players, as well as some team owners, have spoken out about the NFL’s Marijuana policy and called it archaic. After years of players facing lengthy suspension for using the substance, it appears change could finally be on the way. The league hopes to get rid of the ban on players smoking Marijuana, according to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com, but there is a catch.

Florio reports that the league doesn’t just want to change the policy on their own, but they instead want to “dangle” potential changes in the next collective bargaining agreement to secure “a concession from the union in exchange for softening a policy that badly needs to be softened.” The next CBA negotiations are expected to be highly contentious, and there have been rumors another lockout could be on the way, so it’s not surprising the league wants every bit of leverage they can get.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • We heard earlier today that the Cowboys were working out receiver Sammie Coates, but don’t expect Dallas to sign him. The team isn’t going to sign the former Steeler and Brown, and were just “taking a look” at the wideout, according to Clarence Hill Jr. of the Forth-Worth Star Telegram (Twitter link). Coates was once a pretty productive and highly thought of receiver for Pittsburgh, but has had trouble staying in the league the past couple of seasons. Still only 25, the Auburn product will likely resurface somewhere soon.
  • Dez Bryant suffered a devastating Achilles injury just after finally signing with the Saints, but the 30-year-old plans to keep playing. “I have to. I got business and I got ball. I can’t end like this”, Bryant told a Dallas radio station, per Jon Machota of Dallas News (Twitter link). Bryant might not be ready for the start of the 2019 season, but should be able to find a home on a one-year prove it deal.
  • We’ve heard a lot about the Broncos’ ownership situation over the last few months, and now finally owner Pat Bowlen’s wife Annabel is speaking out. Annabel filed a motion and joined the ongoing legal saga, and filed her motion in support of the trust her husband set up to run the team, according to Kevin Vaughan of Denver 9 News. Pat’s brother Bill is currently suing, trying to get the trust dissolved and to seize control of the team.
  • The Giants worked out defensive lineman Kwaku Boateng, a source told Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Boateng is a Canadian who has played very well in the CFL the past couple of years. This time of year it’s common to see CFL players get workouts for consideration for next season, as they aren’t eligible to be signed until after the season is over. Boateng has gotten workouts with the Chargers and Jets recently, so NFL scouts clearly see some potential there.

NFC Notes: Dez, Seahawks, McCarthy

Saints WR Dez Bryant suffered a brutal blow when he tore his Achilles just two days after signing with the club, thereby shelving him for about eight months. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network (video link) noted that Bryant’s recovery timeline could make his 2019 foray into free agency just as complicated as his 2018 one, though RapSheet does report in a separate piece that the Saints are open to bringing Bryant back next season (which Jay Glazer of FOX Sports [video link] also hears). Rapoport also says that Saints head coach Sean Payton fully expects Bryant to continue his playing career, and that Saints players quickly got to know Bryant and were stung by the injury (Twitter link). Given that, and given that Bryant made a concerted effort to improve his route running this offseason, perhaps he will still end up playing for New Orleans.

Let’s round up a few more items from the NFC:

  • Adam Schefter of ESPN.com details (via Twitter) the $500K in incentives (all tied to receptions) that were built in to Bryant’s contract with the Saints, which is obviously a moot point now. Earlier today, Schefter reported that the Saints are expected to pursue Brandon Marshall now that Bryant is on IR.
  • Rapoport writes that, when the Seahawks are sold to a new owner, the beneficiary of the transaction will be the Paul G. Allen Foundation, which consolidated the causes of recently-deceased owner Paul Allen. That means that the proceeds of the sale — which could exceed $2.5 billion — will be going to charity. As of now, Allen’s sister, Jody Allen, has taken more of a visible role in team operations, but the club is still expected to be sold (though it will remain in Seattle). Potential buyers are already preparing for the Seahawks to hit the market.
  • Pete Dougherty of PackersNews.com confirms what we have been hearing for some time: that something is off in the relationship between Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and head coach Mike McCarthy, which could lead to McCarthy’s ouster at the end of the season. McCarthy is widely perceived to be on the hot seat, though Dougherty points out that team president/CEO Mark Murphy thinks highly of McCarthy and has final say over all football matters. However, Murphy will give a great deal of credence to the opinion of new GM Brian Gutekunst when it comes to the head coach’s future with the club.
  • We learned that top decision-makers for the Giants were in attendance at the Oregon-Utah game yesterday to scout Oregon QB Justin Herbert, even though Herbert is unlikely to enter the 2019 draft. Greg Joyce of the New York Post confirms that GM Dave Gettleman was one of the attendees, along with assistant GM Kevin Abrams and West Coast scout Jeremy Breit. If Herbert changes his mind and declares for the draft, New York will certainly be in play for him.
  • We learned earlier today that the Cowboys nearly fired OC Scott Linehan during last month’s bye.