NFL Network is reporting that the New Orleans Saints are close to signing free-agent wide receiver Dez Bryant to a one-year deal. The deal apparently will become official on Wednesday.
The 30-year-old Bryant was released by the Dallas Cowboys in April and had remained a free agent until now. The Saints apparently liked what they saw in a Monday workout with Bryant, and will sign him over Brandon Marshall and Kamar Aiken, who also visited the team.
Bryant had turned down a three-year deal from the Baltimore Ravens earlier in the year, hoping for a one-year, prove-it type of contract that could pay off bigger down the road. He also visited the Cleveland Browns and was considered a possible fit there during training camp. The Ravens had offered $21 million for Bryant over the length of his deal, so it remains to be seen if he can top that over time.
The Saints are shorthanded at receiver, with Ted Ginn Jr. on injured reserve and Cameron Meredith not providing much in recent games. Prior to Bryant joining the Saints, the only healthy receivers are Michael Thomas and rookie Tre'Quan Smith, although Alvin Kamara and TE Benjamin Watson have been heavy lifters in the passing game for QB Drew Brees.
Can Bryant help? It will be fascinating to see how the Saints incorporate him into Sean Payton's offense, which is regarded as one of the more complex in the NFL.
And for Bryant, he also has a chance at proving the Cowboys wrong after owner Jerry Jones called him a "distraction." The Saints and Cowboys face off in Week 13 at Dallas. Expect sparks to fly.
But Bryant also wasn't the same player the past few seasons after recording at least 1,200 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns each season between 2012 and 2014. Fighting through foot and knee injuries, Bryant caught 69 passes for 838 yards and six touchdowns last season in 16 games.