Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant has continued to be in the news since the conclusion of the 2017 season. This is because many were wondering why he was acquired and signed to a team. While he has been picky on his teams, he was open to multiple situations of being added onto a team.
Nine weeks into the season, Dez Bryant finally signed a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints. This “temporary” marriage of the two powerhouses came at a win-now scenario for both sides. Bryant wanted to prove his worth as an elite wideout in the NFL with a new team. New Orleans needed more reliable talent outside of wide receiver Michael Thomas at the receiver position. Unfortunately for both parties, Dez Bryant tears his Achilles shortly before debuting with Saints.
Dez Bryant Injured
What Dez Bryant Would Have Got From the New Orleans Saints
Bryant said he felt mostly disrespected from his former Dallas Cowboys by not only not giving Bryant a longer and more luxurious contract by also cutting him at a late date this past April 13th. The three-time Pro Bowler and 2014 first-team All-Pro was left without a team going until this Wednesday. Bryant has been very outspoken about the team he wished to be apart when picked up. He demanded a super bowl contender, signing a one-year deal to prove himself, and to play with a great quarterback. Bryant is an expressive player but does not possess the level of high-attitude that Terrell Owens displayed for Dallas.
The New Orleans Saints are a Super Bowl contending team with last year’s playoff run and this season’s 7-1 record. Bryant would’ve been getting receptions from one of the most explosive quarterbacks in Drew Brees. This season, Brees became the NFL’s leader in career passing yards and now pressing towards career passing touchdowns. Bryant wasn’t expecting to be the number one receiver due to Michael Thomas. He was only looking to become a consistent contributing player for a super bowl contending team. Bryant was also looking to shed that misconnection that he is a selfish player and won’t make a team better. Before his injury, Bryant was going to be impacting an offense that is second in points per game (34.9 points). The Saints took down the previous undefeated Los Angeles Rams (8-1) with a 45-35 score in New Orleans last weekend.
What the New Orleans Saints Would Have Got from Dez Bryant
The acquiring of Dez Bryant came at a critical time for the Saints going into the latter half this season. The Saints are ranked second in the league in points per game (34.9) and seventh in passing offense (289.9 YPG). This is with quarterback Drew Brees and wide receiver Michael Thomas leading the passing game. Through the first three seasons of his career, Thomas has accounted for 3,262 yards and 19 touchdowns on 266 receptions. Through eight games this season, Thomas has accounted for 70 receptions for 880 yards and five touchdowns. Outside of Thomas, the Saints don’t have a healthy reliable receiver with more than 12 catches so far this season. Rookie wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith has not had his breakout game yet. Number two wide receivers Ted Ginn Jr. and Cameron Meredith are also Saints receivers that have been placed on IR.
Second-year running back Alvin Kamara has been a diverse threat in the backfield as an extra receiver with 51 receptions for 427 yards and three touchdowns. Tight end Benjamin Watson is a great option for the Saints with 26 receptions for 292 yards and 2 touchdowns. With the Saints approaching the second half of the season, they will be facing more teams with winning records like the Philadelphia Eagles, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Carolina Panthers (twice). New Orleans will once again continue looking for a number two receiver with the major injury to Bryant. This unfortunate situation with the Saints and to the elite former wide out of the Cowboys might give an emotional push for Bryant to continue a possible longer career with New Orleans.
Could New Orleans Assure Dez Bryant For A Longer Time?
Bryant would’ve made the Saints’ passing game much more efficient in the different options Brees could throw to. In eight seasons in the league (all with Dallas), Bryant has accounted for three seasons with 12 or more touchdowns and three seasons with 1,200 yards or more. He has had multiple seasons where he has dominated the league. There have been seasons where Bryant was a contributing player and not the number one go-to guy. In the season where the Cowboys went 12-4 in the regular season, Bryant was third on the team in receptions, second in touchdowns, third in receiving yards, but first in yards per game. Bryant has had six seasons where he accounted for 50 or more receptions and 95 targets.
As painful as this injury and, even worse, this moment for Dez Bryant hurts, there is hope for the future. Currently, Bryant is still with New Orleans and will remain with the team until his contract expires this offseason. Bryant was looking forward to playing Brees, Thomas, and Alvin Kamara as he was very complimentary to the players. Bryant will not be able to play for eight months due to his Achilles injury as will make it harder for other teams to sign him. Right now, the Saints look like the best option for Bryant in the future by resigning with the team for more than his one-year, $1.25 million deal but less than his $12.5 million deal he would’ve gotten with Dallas before he was cut in April.
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