Cover Photo: Getty Images
Dez Bryant's 2018 season did not go as anyone expected. He was released by the Cowboys after the bulk of free agents were already signed and struggled to find a suitor for his services.
But then hope was on the horizon, as the New Orleans Saints signed him for a potential Super Bowl run. That dream never became a reality, as Bryant didn't see game time with the team after tearing his Achilles in his very first week of practice.
This was about as close to a worst-case-scenario as Bryant could get. He is now 30, is coming off of a brutal injury, and was simply not the same receiver the last time we saw him.
But despite all these concerns, Bryant can still have immense value in the NFL. If he can battle back to full health and prove he can still handle NFL competition, he'll have callers. Here are five teams that need to take a shot on him.
5. New Orleans Saints
The Saints expressed interest in bringing Bryant back for 2019, should he be healthy. He would likely be looking at the veteran minimum after receiving just a $1.3 million contract when he was healthy in 2018, but if he wants a shot at a championship, the Saints would be his best option. The Saints are still in need of a reliable No. 2, and Bryant fits the bill.
4. Washington Redskins
One reason Bryant remained unsigned is he wanted to stay in the NFC East to face the Cowboys. That never materialized, but it could in 2019. Plus, seeing Bryant on the same team as Josh Norman would be fun.
Washington has seen multiple seasons of Josh Doctson and is probably ready to call it quits. They are in need of an alpha receiver, and Dez could offer that. Bryant would fit in perfectly as the target hog with Jamison Crowder manning the slot, Paul Richardson stretching the field, and Doctson warming the bench.
3. New England Patriots
Julian Edelman won Super Bowl MVP this season, but the New England Patriots are still in need of an outside receiver. Josh Gordon's relapse has left them with only Chris Hogan and Philip Dorsett, neither of which have found success when seeing elevated targets.
Bryant is an excellent candidate that fits the Patriot mold. Bill Belichick always finds a way to squeeze every drop of value out of an aging free agent, and he can help Bryant get a Super Bowl ring.
2. Carolina Panthers
The Panthers took a shot on Devin Funchess as their No. 1 and it didn't pan out. The converted college tight end was never able to reach 1,000 yards or 10 touchdowns in his four seasons with the team. This is where Bryant comes in.
The Panthers drafted D.J. Moore in the first round in 2018, but he profiles as a slot specialist that dominates after the catch. Bryant can be their outside guy and red zone target. He would cost very little and could provide exactly what Funchess lacked.
1. San Francisco 49ers
Every receiver on the San Francisco 49ers has significant concerns. Dante Pettis is under 190 pounds. Marquise Goodwin is 5-foot-8. Kendrick Bourne is a small school UDFA signing.
The 49ers are in need of a dominant outside receiver. Bryant is 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, and has years of NFL dominance under his belt. The 49ers could sign him to mentor their young receivers and be Jimmy Garropolo's go-to guy.
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Taylor Smith is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username jtsmittyyy. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.