Dez Bryant has finally returned to the NFL. And it looks like his patience is about to payoff. The former Dallas Cowboy receiver agreed to a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints. His salary was not disclosed.
Although the Saints (7-1) have a seven-game win streak, tbey are thin at receiver.
The Saints are taking a risk considering Bryant has always been a demanding locker room presence. New Orleans seems to be all-in with Drew Brees having his best season yet.
Bryant, just turning 30, had been on the market since the Cowboys released him in April releasing them from a $12.5 million dollar hit.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder was among the NFL’s best in his prime. He recorded three straight seasons of at least 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns from 2012 to 2014, and he earned Pro Bowl invites in 2013, 2014 and 2016.
But his production slipped in recent years as he battled foot and knee injuries. Some saying he had lost a step and could no longer separate from defensive-backs.
Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott said Wednesday that it will be “exciting” to play against Bryant. He also said that he never saw the wide receiver as disruptive.
“Not at all. Ever since I got here, Dez was nothing but a help for me,” Elliott said. “Right when I got here, he took me under his wing. You’re getting a very passionate football player. You’re getting a very passionate individual. I think sometimes that’s looked at the wrong way. From the people who love this game, who’ve played, they can understand that about it being somewhat harder for other people to figure that out. I think he’s going to be a good veteran for that team.”
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett also reacted to the Bryant deal Wednesday.
“Dez is a great player. Dez was a great player in this organization for a long time. Really happy for him and that opportunity,” he said. “I know it’s important to him. He wants to finish his career strong. He’s done such a great job for this organization and been an impact player in this league over the course of his eight years playing. Seems like a real good opportunity for him. I know he’ll help their team.”