Cleveland Browns: Should they call about Dez Bryant?
By Randy Gurzi
With whispers coming out of Dallas that wide receiver Dez Bryant could be on the way out, should the Cleveland Browns call about his services?
The Cleveland Browns are heading into the 2018 NFL Season on the heels of the worst finish in NFL history. They became just the second team to ever finish 0-16, and they’re now 1-31 in two seasons with head coach Hue Jackson calling the shots.
Being owners of such a horrendous record means the team can surely use all the talent they can get as they hope to improve in the future. Fortunately, they have plenty of ammunition. Not only are they stocked up with 12 draft picks, but they also have more than $100 million in cap space available according to OverTheCap.com.
While they could essentially load up on rookies for 2018, the Browns could also land themselves some veteran talent via free agency, or by trading some of their draft stock. One potentially available player that could be cost effective — in terms of trade value that is — would be Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant.
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The big-bodied wide out has put together some elite seasons in his career, but over the past two years it’s becoming painfully obvious that he and quarterback Dak Prescott are nowhere close to being on the same page. After Bryant and the Boys saw their disappointing 2017 season end, there started to be talk that he could be on the way out. That begs the question of whether or not the Browns should be interested, and what would it cost?
Pros and Cons
The pros for making such a move are that Bryant is still a potential game changer, and despite his lack of deep speed, he’s a monster in the red zone. Even though he and Prescott don’t see the field the same way, he has still hauled in 14 touchdown passes over the past two seasons.
Another positive is that it may not cost a ton to lure him from Dallas. The Cowboys seem intent on asking Bryant to take a pay cut, and he refuses to do so.
"“I haven’t heard no talks about that, but if it comes — well, I don’t know,” Bryant said on taking a pay cut according to Marc Sessler of NFL.com. “Probably not. Hell, no,man. I believe in me.”"
While a stand off could result in Bryant being released, Cleveland could come in and offer a mid-round pick for the veteran’s services. The brass in Dallas would have to think long and hard about adding that pick, rather than getting nothing in return should he wind up being cut.
The first con to such a move is the salary. Bryant will count $16 million against the cap in 2018, and while Cleveland is perfectly fine with the space, they can’t just spend for the sake of spending. The second con of course is that Bryant is an often volatile player who has erupted more than once on the sideline.
While Bryant could still be a threat, the Browns would need to be leery. They could use a potential No. 1 guy as trusting Josh Gordon to stay clean and Corey Coleman to stay healthy hasn’t been the best formula. There’s also no guarantee that Bryant isn’t just regressing, rather than it being a product of him and Dak being on opposite pages.
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In the end, Cleveland should probably steer clear of Bryant. However, there have been worse moves by NFL teams.