The receiving corps in New England is running rather thin, but former Patriots wide receiver Troy Brown doesn’t think the solution is signing Dez Bryant.
“They don’t need Dez right now,” Brown said during Wednesday’s episode of “Early Edition” on NBC Sports Boston. “I just don’t think he runs the type of routes the Patriots want from a receiver right now. … I just don’t think they should waste their time going after Dez Bryant. He’s not as explosive as he used to be.”
The Patriots could be on the market for a wide receiver. The team will be without a trio of regular contributors from 2018-19 to kick off their season: Danny Amendola signed with the Miami Dolphins in March, Brandin Cooks was traded to the Los Angeles Rams in April, and Julian Edelman’s four-game suspension was upheld in July. Since training camp began, the team also released Super Bowl LI hero Malcolm Mitchell, let go veteran Kenny Britt, waived former practice squad member Cody Hollister, and parted ways with newcomer Jordan Matthews.
Bryant could be a potential option for the Patriots, as the 29-year-old is still available after getting released by the Dallas Cowboys in April. Bryant has spent his entire eight-year career in Dallas, logging 69 catches for 838 yards last season. According to NFL Network’s Mike Giardi, the Patriots’ level of interest in Bryant is not very high as of now. Bryant, however, appears to be trying to butter up coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady, leaving flattering comments about the pair on Instagram.
“Tom Brady has always been my favorite player,” he wrote Wednesday. “Real fact.”
Former Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, who also spent three years in New England as the linebackers coach, said Wednesday on FS1’s “Speak for Yourself” he thinks Bryant could be a good fit for the Patriots. Ryan acknowledged a typical route for Bryant may not align perfectly with a typical route for a Patriots receiver, but he cited Bryant’s love for the game and New England’s tendency to sign players late in the preseason as two potential reasons why a deal could happen.
“I know that one thing they want is core characteristics — the No. 1 being you got to love football,” Ryan said. “You have to love it, or those guys just don’t work out. Albert Haynesworth? Nobody here thinks he loved football. He loved money, but he took off. Some guys just aren’t going to work. But a guy that genuinely loves football, they’ll work with him, they’ll find a role. Dez Bryant loves football.”
“New England is so well-coached, they could take a big guy like Dez and do something with him,” he continued. “I think Dez loves football enough that he would try it. … I know he can still go outside and catch a football and be a good target.”
Since getting released, Bryant has met with the Cleveland Browns — though no offer has been made — after reportedly turning down a multi-year contract with the Baltimore Ravens. The New Orleans Saints were also reported to be a possible landing spot.