After giving him a tryout during offseason workouts last month, the Seattle Seahawks finally decided to sign wide receiver Antonio Bryant on Thursday. What's really interesting is that the Seahawks decided to sign Bryant, who hasn't played since the 2009 season, over Braylon Edwards, who worked out with the team on Thursday, prior to the Bryant signing. In other news, Edwards is composing his own cover version of Marian Anderson's "Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen."
Bryant is mostly known by Bengals fans as a veteran wide receiver that signed a four-year deal worth $28 million with the team during the 2010 offseason. It was the year of veteran wide receivers, after passive aggressive comments by quarterback Carson Palmer to give him more weapons (which ironically led to a four-win season and a complete personnel overhaul). Despite the fact that Bryant had what Peter King described as a possible "chondral defect of the knee", the team's medical staff cleared Bryant during a physical that preceded a contract signing.
Yet there was enough concern for the Bengals to sign Terrell Owens months later. And instead of allowing him to continue rehabilitation, Bryant practiced during the first session of training camp that year, making him ineligible for the Physically Unable to Perform list. The PUP would have allowed more time for rehabilitation with a roster exemption that Cincinnati could address after nine weeks (six weeks, plus three-week window before a decision on Bryant is required) into the regular season.
Eventually the Bengals were forced to release Bryant, eating roughly $6.95 million for a two-hour practice and a lot of bad publicity. In early February, months after the Bryant signing and eventual release, two members of the Bengals medical staff resigned. It was never made clear if this was the result of Bryant's misdiagnosis or just a case of coincidence.
To put it bluntly, everything about Bryant's time in Cincinnati was a disaster.