The Cowboys released Dez Bryant on Friday, and the receiver is ready to find his new home.
So of course the question becomes whether the Bengals should throw their hat into the ring to bring in Bryant.
It hasn’t been that long since Bryant was involved in the discussion for best receiver in the NFL. He and Tony Romo lit the NFL up year after year in Dallas from 2010-2015.
However, 2014 was really has last productive season. Since then he hasn’t gotten to 80 catches, 1,000 yards or 10 touchdowns in any season. Part of that is due to injuries and a change in offensive philosophy, but the Cowboys released Bryant because they felt he wasn’t the same guy anymore. And he wasn’t...
Dez Bryant scored below the 10th percentile in success rate vs. man and press coverage for #ReceptionPerception last season.— Matt Harmon (@MattHarmon_BYB) April 2, 2018
Here are his route percentage and success rate charts pic.twitter.com/pkisjnt13E
With that in mind, there doesn’t seem to be a reason to bring Bryant to Cincinnati. The idea is nice. Have A.J. Green on one side with Bryant on the other, but the Bengals simply don’t have the cap to do that without making cuts, which is something they like to avoid.
Bryant will likely try to go to either a contender or a division rival to show the Cowboys that they made a mistake. The Bengals likely aren’t either of those things in Bryant’s mind. The Bengals can’t even properly highlight him as the center of an offense. He would be frustrated by the lack of targets very quickly.
Do I have to remind everyone of the last time the Bengals brought in a high profile receiver via free agency? Terrell Owens and Chad Johnson were supposed to tear NFL defenses apart, but instead they quickly fizzled out in Cincinnati. They constantly fought and complained while running the offense into the ground by trying to get Carson Palmer to force them the ball enough to keep both receivers happy.
Now obviously Green won’t be as animated as Johnson or Owens was, but he has called to get the ball more at appropriate times. Last season after the Bengals failed to score a touchdown during the first two weeks, he called for the ball to get to the playmakers more.
Back to the money aspect, unless Bryant take a very team friendly deal, the Bengals would be forced to make some tough decisions based on re-signing players in the upcoming seasons. It would be hard to retain both Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap next season while paying Bryant anywhere from $6 to $10 million.
The Bengals seem set to improve the protection that Andy Dalton receives while changing the offense in hopes of reigniting their success. The Bengals also have John Ross and Tyler Eifert returning next season. They didn’t get to impact the 2017 season much, but that could change quickly in 2018. There are also a slew of young receivers the Bengals are hoping to see grow up in 2018 including Tyler Boyd, Josh Malone, Cody Core and Alex Erickson. That’s why the Bengals kept seven receivers on the roster last season.
That plan seems a lot better without having to feed the ego of two top receivers. Dalton does a great job of spreading the ball around, and the addition of Bryant would force him into a similar spot as Palmer in trying to make sure everyone gets their touches.
This move just doesn’t seem like it’s up the Bengals alley, and we should all be content to watch another team take the Bryant risk. He’s simply no longer a top receiver and the Bengals need to make what they have work.
Should the Bengals sign Dez Bryant
This poll is closed
They should at least consider it