As we speed towards the second Sunday of the new NFL season there is one big name left on the market that is still unsigned. Dez Bryant.
Much has been written about Dez, his luck of a place to play and his apparent declining talents. But the fact remains that he’s probably still a better receiver than what many teams have within their organisation. Couple that with the onslaught of injuries and week one dumpster fire type performances then I’m sure he must be on some GMs list. I decided to have a look at those teams that could still use some help on the receiving corps. This is not an exhaustive list, but it’s a list all the same.
The Titans lost Delanie Walker in week one and that’s a lot of receptions to lose. Walker has been Mariota’s favourite target since he came into the league. Like many tight ends, he was initially a safety blanket for the then rookie quarterback. Unlike most toddlers though, Mariota has been unable to let go of said safety blanket. On the depth chart, the next tight ends are Jonnu Smith and Anthony Firkser. Two names that I’m sure will inspire confidence…
With that, the Titans will probably have to look at changing their game plan a bit and get Mariota to focus on the receivers he has left. I expect to see a lot of action from Dion Lewis coming out of the backfield. Second year wideout Corey Davis and veteran Rishard Matthews are WR1&2 but I would have Dez over both for his skills but also for his experience. Whilst it’s not been his primary role in the past, Dez does have the physicality to go across the middle and partly fulfil a role that Walker would have done.
To be honest, if I were Dez, I wouldn’t even pick up the phone if I saw the Bills calling! But it’s a well-documented fact that the Bills receiving corps is just terrible. Kelvin Benjamin, Zay Jones, Andre Holmes and Jeremy Kerley are the top four options and Dez would be an instant upgrade.
The biggest issue is of course whether Dez realistically would go to Buffalo. Josh Allen has the raw ability to work well with Dez given his skill and power at throwing the deep ball. The issue is accuracy and more importantly, that offensive line. Will Allen be able to give his receivers time to get up the field before he has a big ugly defensive lineman in his face? Probably not based on the Bills performance last week.
The Seahawks already have a loud veteran receiver in their dressing with Brandon Marshall but with Doug Baldwin suffering another knee injury and not much else beyond Tyler Lockett, then there’s a need to bring in receiving reinforcements!
For me, having Marshall and Dez on the same team is a recipe for disaster. That’s two massive egos, both of whom will want what they consider their fair share of work. Could be fun for the rest of us to watch though!
The Colts let Donte Moncrief walk away from Indianapolis at the end of the year and never really did anything to replace him. After TY Hilton there’s a lot of unknowns on the depth chart, Ryan Grant being the current second receiver on the depth chart.
With a fit again Andrew Luck and playing opposite Hilton, this could be a really attractive opportunity for Dez. Will it happen? Probably not. Rookie head coach Frank Reich managed to get a lot of production out of the Eagles receivers last year as offensive coordinator in Philadelphia and with his knowledge and Luck under centre I would expect him to do the same with the Colts.
There’s been a lot said about Dak’s performance last week and his inability to deliver much production. It’s incredibly unlikely that Dez goes back to Dallas but if he were to, he’d go straight back to the top of the depth chart. Back in the 90s, Steve Young and Jerry Rice struggled to develop a chemistry but, in the end, Rice caught more TDs from Young than any other quarterback. It takes time to develop that sort of relationship.
Like I said though, can’t see it happening.