Dez Bryant

Ravens Promote Dez Bryant, Luke Willson

The Ravens will give Dez Bryant another opportunity. After not activating the veteran wide receiver last week, Baltimore will promote him ahead of Sunday’s game against Tennessee, per ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter).

Bryant did not see much action (two offensive snaps) in his Ravens debut — Week 9 against the Colts — but any playing time marked a major step for the former Pro Bowler. Bryant missed all of the 2018 and ’19 seasons.

Having Bryant active gives the Ravens another option in the passing game. Baltimore has not come especially close to matching its 2019 offensive dominance, having lost multiple All-Pro O-linemen from that record-setting unit. This season, Lamar Jackson ranks 18th in QBR and has struggled to connect with his top targets. Baltimore’s passing attack ranks 31st in the NFL.

While the now-32-year-old Bryant should not be expected to show his Cowboys form, he does have three 1,000-yard seasons and two more 800-plus-yard campaigns on his resume. He will join Willie Snead as veteran targets available for Jackson on Sunday.

The Ravens are also promoting tight end Luke Willson and tackle Will Holden from their practice squad. Willson’s promotion comes shortly after the Ravens lost blocking tight end Nick Boyle for the season.

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Ravens Promote Dez Bryant To Active Roster

Dez Bryant‘s comeback date appears set. The Ravens are promoting the former Pro Bowl wide receiver to their active roster.

Bryant will dress for Baltimore’s Week 9 game against the Colts and will have a role, per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports (via Twitter). Bryant has reportedly performed well in practice and offers the type of veteran presence and third down target that the Ravens have been missing.

It has been a long road back for Bryant, a 2010 first-round pick. The Cowboys let Bryant walk in free agency in 2018, and after he turned down a multiyear Ravens offer, he ended up on a low-level deal in New Orleans. Bryant did not have a chance to play in a game as a Saint, suffering an Achilles tear in practice. That led him to miss the 2019 season as well, and he joined the Ravens’ practice squad in late October. But three days after his 32nd birthday, Bryant will be on the field once again.

The all-time leader in Cowboys receiving touchdowns (73), Bryant joins a Ravens receiving corps that has not been particularly effective this season. Lamar Jackson‘s regression from his MVP form has played a major role in the team’s aerial struggles, and Bryant would give Jackson a possession receiver to complement Marquise Brown, who voiced frustration about his lack of involvement in Baltimore’s offense last week.

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This Date In Transactions History: Saints Sign WR Dez Bryant

Two years ago today, Dez Bryant’s brief stint with the Saints began. On November 7th, 2018, the embattled wideout inked a one-year deal with New Orleans.

The one-year, $1.25MM pact was a bit modest considering the three Pro Bowls on Bryant’s resume. However, at that point of his career, the former first-rounder was coming off three straight underwhelming seasons, and his plummeting production played a role in the Cowboys releasing him in April of 2018.

It’s also worth noting that Bryant reportedly favored the one-year deal over longer commitments; the veteran was hoping to rehabilitate his value prior to the upcoming offseason. In fact, he reportedly turned down a three-year, $21MM offer from the Ravens, and he subsequently languished in free agency for half of the 2018 campaign.

In New Orleans, Bryant was expected to provide Drew Brees with another talented weapon behind Michael Thomas, Cameron Meredith, and Tre’Quan Smith. The organization had also worked out wideouts Brandon Marshall and Kamar Aiken, but they seemingly believed in Bryant’s upside. We’ll never really know if New Orleans’ inkling was correct; only two days after signing his contract, Bryant tore his Achilles tendon during practice. That ended his season before it even began.

Bryant hit free agency in 2019, and he didn’t retire as he continued to rehab from his injury. He ultimately sat out the entire season, but he finally got a second chance last month. The 32-year-old signed with the Ravens practice squad, and there’s an expectation that he’ll be on the active roster sooner than later.

When it comes to Bryant’s career, there are clearly plenty of “what ifs.” However, we do know one thing: this obviously wasn’t the expected outcome when Bryant inked his deal with the Saints two years ago today.

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Ravens Sign Dez Bryant To Practice Squad

It’s official. Dez Bryant is back in the NFL — this time, with the Ravens’ practice squad (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). This was the anticipated news following the wide receiver’s workout with the team late last week. 

The former Cowboys All-Pro first auditioned for the Ravens over the summer, marking his first showing since he suffered an Achilles tear in 2018. The Ravens’ interest in Bryant goes back much further than that, however. Bryant famously rejected their three-year, $21MM offer after his divorce from Dallas. Then, he lingered in free agency for several months before signing a far less lucrative one-year deal with the Saints. That, unfortunately, didn’t last long – Bryant’s season ended on the practice field before he could suit up for New Orleans in live action.

Bryant, now in his age-32 season, has not played since the 2017 campaign. Before all of that, he 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.

A quick promotion could lead to Bryant’s debut this Sunday against the Steelers. Otherwise, he’ll be at the ready for the 5-1 Ravens.

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Ravens To Sign Dez Bryant To Practice Squad?

The Ravens will sign Dez Bryant to the practice squad if his upcoming workout goes well, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The Ravens have been in talks with Bryant for a long, long time, but it sounds like he’ll finally land in Baltimore. 

[RELATED: Ravens Trade For Yannick Ngakoue]

The former Cowboys All-Pro auditioned for the Raves back in August, marking his first tryout since he suffered an Achilles tear in November 2018. The Ravens’ interest in Bryant goes back much further than this past summer – soon 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, 32 in November, has not played since the 2017 season.

Before all of that, Bryant was a three-time Pro Bowler in Dallas with three-straight seasons of at least 1,200 yards. Now, Bryant is eager to return to the field and prove that he still has gas in the tank.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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