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Dez Bryant would be perfect for Patriots

Alex Reimer
July 27, 2018 - 12:26 pm

Dez Bryant is a perfect fit for the Patriots. The enigmatic wideout reportedly only wants to play for a contender and is intent on signing a short-term deal to reestablish his value. 

Those sound like wishes devised in Bill Belichick’s most erotic dreams. 

The Cowboys released Bryant April 13, after his production had slipped with Dak Prescott under center. Bryant has caught 50 and 69 passes in each of the last two seasons, respectively, and missed seven games in 2015 due to injury. 

In his prime, Bryant, 29, was one of the most impactful receivers in the NFL. From 2011-2014, he averaged 84 catches for 1,215 yards and 12.5 touchdowns per season. He isn’t the same player today. 

But looking deeper, Bryant’s diminished counting stats might be more dependent on circumstance than declining skill level. Keep in mind, Bryant is paired off with the opposing team’s No. 1 cornerback on a weekly basis, limiting his opportunities. The Cowboys finished 26th in the league in passing yards last season. 

Despite the Cowboys’ lousy passing attack, Bryant was still able to reel in 69 catches for 838 yards and six touchdowns. Pro Football Focus gave him a grade of 75.2, which is nearly 20 points higher than Chris Hogan’s, as Pats Pulpit points out.

With nearly $9 million in cap space, the Patriots have enough cash to satisfy Bryant for one year –– assuming he’s prioritized winning above all else. The Browns are reportedly interested in his services, too, but the choice shouldn’t be close.

On paper, this is one of the weakest Patriots receiving corps in recent memory, especially since Julian Edelman will miss the first four games of the season and is recovering from ACL surgery. Tom Brady’s other targets currently include Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, Cordarrelle Patterson, Jordan Matthews, Kenny Britt, Malcolm Mitchell (injured) and rookie Braxton Berrios. And Mitchell is getting shopped, according to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero

Bryant would slot in nicely.

Belichick has a history of taking short-term risks on polarizing players, as long as they demonstrate a commitment to football. That’s what supposedly bonded Belichick with Chad Ochocinco. Legend says the pair hit it off at the Pro Bowl in 2006

While Bryant has a long history of outbursts, one of his most publicized incidents was a misunderstanding. In 2013, Bryant was spotted yelling in Romo’s face against the Lions, but audio from NFL Films revealed he was pumping his quarterback –– rather than chastising him.

Earlier this year, Romo defended his longtime play-maker. “I think Dez is misunderstood in a lot of ways,” Romo said on the “Now and Then” podcast, per Cowboys Wire. “I know there times where he can get talking and be volatile on the sideline and stuff, but a lot of it is positive.”

Bringing Bryant aboard is the definition of a low-risk, high-reward move. Belichick has taken mid-summer chances on Albert Haynesworth, Joey Galloway, Ochocinco and other discarded characters. Bryant is better than all of them. 

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