Despite playing in three Pro Bowls as one of the NFL’s top wide receivers for the Dallas Cowboys, Dez Bryant has yet to find himself a new NFL home with less than two weeks remaining before the league’s new season kicks off. With reports suggesting that talks between Bryant and the Cleveland Browns recently fell through, USA Today is now suggesting that the Jacksonville Jaguars, who just lost Marqise Lee to a knee injury in preseason play, should make a move for the 29-year-old free agent.
In the aftermath of Lee’s “gruesome” left knee injury, which he suffered in Saturday’s preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons, USA Today’s Nate Davis recommended that the team should set up a “shotgun marriage” with Bryant, whose arrival could give the Jaguars’ receiving corps a much-needed boost.
After leading the team with 56 catches in 2017 and signing a four-year, $34 million contract earlier this year, Lee was expected to lead Jacksonville’s receivers in 2018, especially since Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson signed with the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears respectively earlier in the offseason. But with Lee injured, the Jaguars now have a young and inexperienced receiving corps, as Davis pointed out for USA Today — last season, rookies Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole combined for just 11 NFL starts.
Browns offered Dez Bryant base deal worth less than $5M; he prefers at this point to watch and wait https://t.co/JGSzeDcVSs— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 24, 2018
Given the lack of experience and star power at wide receiver, Davis stressed that Dez Bryant would make a good fit for the Jacksonville Jaguars, even if his “outspoken and occasionally boisterous” personality contrasts with that of the team’s executive vice president of football operations and former head coach, Tom Coughlin. However, he added that the Jaguars could still make room for him, as they already have similarly strong personalities such as cornerback Jalen Ramsey and defensive end Calais Campbell.
“Bryant’s experience would be a boon to such a green group of wideouts after [Dave] Caldwell, the general manager, tinkered little with it this year aside from drafting [second-round pick D.J.] Chark and signing oft-injured Donte Moncrief.”
As further stressed by USA Today’s Davis, Dez Bryant potentially joining the Jacksonville Jaguars would give quarterback Blake Bortles another skilled offensive player to work with aside from running back Leonard Fournette, and also give Bryant a chance to “prove [himself]” to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and the rest of the team when the Jaguars face the Cowboys in Week 6.
Even with his name recognition and previous credentials in mind, Dez Bryant’s inability to find a new NFL team has been one of the offseason’s key storylines thus far, as noted by Yahoo Sports. The publication reported on Saturday that Bryant was offered less than $5 million to play for the Cleveland Browns, an offer that appears to be far from satisfactory for the veteran wide receiver, who is expected to “look for another team or [hope for] the Browns to raise their offer.”