It's not that we don't believe that anything could happen with Antonio Bryant. Speaking earlier today with the Bengals press, Bryant displayed much confidence that he'll return soon to the Bengals practice field.
“I’ve been on the field doing a couple things here and there. It’s just a matter of timing. We’re getting there, we’re getting close. I can run a little bit. I always could run. It’s just a matter of doing things fluidly. I’ve always been able to run.”
Even so, the Bengals have options. They could wait and see, allowing Bryant to recover enough to play. In this scenario, the Bengals would likely list Bryant as the team's sixth receiver; considering the Bengals don't always activate six receivers on game day, Bryant could be that sixth receiver and simply be one of the team's inactive players. They could simply place him on Injured Reserve and be done with it for this year, which is Joe Reedy's speculation.
Or they could agree with Bryant on an injury settlement and release him. Newsday's Bob Glauber, through a source, claims that the Bengals are ready to let Bryant go.
However, per Geoff Hobson, Glauber's report is news to Lamont Smith, Bryant's agent.
“That would be the protocol,” Smith said. “Because you would think they would call and say, ‘This isn’t going the way we thought and let’s try and do something.’ From what I understand, things have progressed the past week.”
I'm not willing to predict how the Bengals marriage with Antonio Bryant will turn out. Any one of the three scenarios that apply for Bryant could happen. Still, if the Bengals were talking injury settlement with Bryant's representatives, you'd think that Bryant's agent had at least spoken with the team.
Which makes me think that either Glauber throws out another report that's eventually proven wrong, or that the Bengals have already decided on Bryant's fate and are in wait-and-see mode to see if he rebounds enough to be ready soon. Again, both are possibilities.