Now that Terrell Owens has signed with the Bengals, the question now becomes what happens with Antonio Bryant. I know you're tired of hearing the same story, the same points of view, but in reality, things change as new data comes in. The biggest storyline, outside of Owens signing of course, is that there's a general concern Antonio Bryant's knee was problematic enough to sign an insurance policy. By signing Owens, the Bengals will be able to place Bryant on the Physically Unable to Perform list, where Bryant will be unavailable through the first six weeks of the season. PFT writes:
Per a league source, Bryant is a strong candidate to land on the Physically Unable to Perform list to start training camp. The source says that it's believed Bryant won't be ready to practice when camp opens, given lingering knee problems.
Now there is something called active/Physically Unable to Perform list. This is the same list that Wes Welker was placed on today. When the player is "active", it means he can join the roster at any time. Though since this is largely unofficial at this point, there's no telling where the Bengals will place Bryant, if they decide to even make a move at all.
However, for those of you thinking that this means Bryant is gone, think again. The Bengals signed Bryant to a four-year deal and have already handed him $7.85 million in a roster bonus.
Once Bryant returns, Cincinnati can ease him back onto the field while the combination of Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens against the Patriots, Ravens, Panthers, Browns and Buccaneers. After that, we suspect that a lineup close to Chad, Owens, Bryant, Jordan Shipley and Andre Caldwell with guys like Dezmon Briscoe, Quan Cosby, Matt Jones and Jerome Simpson fighting for that final spot -- note: we suspect that Briscoe would be a prime practice squad candidate.
This brings up another question. How will Bryant react to Owens signing? Will Bryant view this as being overshadowed by Owens, who could ask Bryant for #81? Will Bryant feel somewhat disrespected after the past week hearing an anonymous source that the coaches are "lukewarm" with him?
Either way, I wouldn't expect Bryant to play much of a role early into the regular season. But for those of you saying that saying Owens isn't insurance for Bryant, what else could it be? Why didn't the Bengals sign Owens in March? Or April? Or May? Or June? Or the 26 days in July before today? This is clearly in response of Bryant's knee, especially considering that it was learned that Bryant could land on PUP just AFTER news broke of Owens signing.