It’s rare for a player with Dez Bryant’s star power to hit the free-agent market in mid-April. Yet, there wasn’t an immediate frenzy to sign the former Dallas Cowboys receiver.
There is, however, some recruiting going on. Tyrann Mathieu, who signed with the Houston Texans this offseason, wants Bryant to come across the state and join him.
Mathieu, who became one of the NFL’s best defensive backs with the Arizona Cardinals, has been recruiting Bryant after he was released last week. Mathieu said he contacted Bryant on Monday night and is trying to persuade him to come to Houston.
“You just want that person to feel like he’s wanted again,” Mathieu said Tuesday, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “I messaged him last night trying to get him here.”
Mathieu also tweeted at Bryant right after he was cut last week.
Bryant might fit in with the Texans. He wouldn’t be the team’s No. 1 receiver — that’s undisputedly DeAndre Hopkins — but that might be best for Bryant’s second chapter in his career. He doesn’t have the ability to separate from top cornerbacks like he used to. He’s probably not going to be a superstar receiver anymore. But he can still be a good role player in an offense. If Bryant would be willing to accept being behind Hopkins in the Texans’ pecking order (it would also seem Will Fuller’s deep game is a good complement to what Bryant does at this point in his career), it could help to get Deshaun Watson another target. However, even though Mathieu is trying to recruit Bryant, he’s not the general manager. We’ll see how bad the Texans want Bryant. It would be funny to see Bryant land with the other NFL team in Texas after Dallas dumped him.
There hasn’t been a lot of speculation about Bryant’s landing spot since he got cut. He made mention of wanting to play the Cowboys twice a year, but none of the other NFC East teams have been reported to show any interest. The Baltimore Ravens were reportedly interested, which makes sense since they were entirely thin at receiver last season and still could use help, even with additions Michael Crabtree and John Brown (Ravens safety Eric Weddle is apparently trying to get in touch with Bryant too). But if a lot of teams are fighting to get Bryant in for a visit, we haven’t heard about it.
Teams are busy with draft preparation, and the Cowboys didn’t do Bryant or themselves any favors by putting off cutting him until mid-April, when most teams are done with their heavy free-agency lifting. But there are still teams looking for help at receiver and will knock on Bryant’s door, and Mathieu is hoping his new team is included in that group.
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