On this date in 2018, Dez Bryant agreed to join the Saints. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned for the one-time Cowboys star.
Bryant’s one-year, $1.25MM pact was modest, considering the three Pro Bowls on his resume. However, at that juncture of his career, it made sense. The former first-rounder was coming off of three straight down years, culminating in his Cowboys release.
Bryant reportedly favored the one-year deal over longer commitments — the veteran figured he could restore his value before re-entering free agency in the offseason. He famously rejected a three-year, $21MM offer from the Ravens, only to languish in free agency for the first half of 2018.
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 preferred 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 at practice, ending his season before it could even begin.
Bryant hit free agency in 2019, but never signed. He finally got a second chance in 2020, joining the Ravens’ practice squad at the age of 32. Bryant eventually made it to the active roster, but registered just six receptions for 47 yards and two touchdowns.
In early 2021, Bryant said that he wanted to continue playing. But, with the season more than halfway over, we haven’t heard his name mentioned. After celebrating his 33rd birthday last week, it’s possible that we’ve seen Bryant play his final NFL snap.