A few days after the Dallas Cowboys cut Dez Bryant, the New York Giants cut receiver Brandon Marshall after one disappointing season. Could the former humble himself enough to wind up in Jersey?
Timing is everything in the NFL and it’s ironic that shortly after the Cowboys cut Dez Bryant, the New York Giants bid farewell to 34-year-old Brandon Marshall, making these two moves possibly and potentially connected.
With Marshall no longer in the mix for the Giants, there’s a void in terms of a tall, physical receiver who can fight off opposing defensive backs and win 50/50 balls—a legit red-zone, possession threat.
Winning 50/50 balls is something the Bryant has excelled at during his eight-year career and one of the reasons he’s the Cowboys all-time leader in touchdown receptions with 73. He’s also been voted to three Pro Bowl teams, and was named First-Team All-Pro in 2014.
But things began to go downhill for Bryant following the 2014 season.
In the Cowboys 2015 season opener 27-26 victory over the Giants, Bryant fractured his foot and required surgery. He would return to play in the Cowboys week 8 13-12 loss to the Seattle Seahawks but didn’t resemble anything close to his All-Pro form. He had just two catches for 12 yards in the game.
In the nine games Bryant appeared in, he compiled 31 receptions for 401 yards and three touchdowns. In the two seasons that followed Bryant had a combined 119 receptions for 1,634 yards and 14 touchdowns. This was a huge drop off in production from his three seasons prior to his injury when he averaged 91 receptions 1,311 yards and 13 touchdowns a season.
The drop off in production led the Cowboys to cutting Bryant despite his name as the best receiver on their roster.
Following his release, Bryant said he wanted to play for a team in the NFC East. From the moment he expressed his desire to remain in the division, speculation began on whether or not the Giants would have an interest in signing him. That speculation grew even further once the Giants released Marshall.
Initial reports came out and stated the Giants did not have an interest in Bryant. But when asked about Bryant at his pre-draft press conference on Thursday, general manager Dave Gettleman didn’t say that he wasn’t interested in Bryant.
“I have interest in everybody. We do our film work and you never know.”
Being cut by a team you played with for eight seasons is a humbling experience and at the same time, it fuels a fire in you to get back payback on the team that released you.
This is why Bryant wants to remain in the NFC East so that he can play the Cowboys twice a season. But is that fuel enough for him to play second fiddle to Odell Beckham Jr?
Going back all the way to his college days, Bryant has always been the number one option and best receiver on the team. That would not be the case if the Giants decide to sign him. They’re best playmaker is Beckham Jr.
Would Bryant be willing to humble himself and being willing to play a lesser role so that he can help the Giants win and get revenge on the Cowboys?
The main reason he might be willing to do this is because he has a close relationship with Beckham. They’ve been seen playing catch together in pregame warmups right before their teams square off against one another, and they’ve been seen working out together.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 20, 2018
Being able to play with one of his best friends in the league might be enough to entice Bryant to sign a one year incentive laced contract.
If he would agree to join Big Blue, then they would have the best set of pas catchers in the NFL with him, OBJ, Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram. If the Giants offensive line and defensive can hold their end, then Bryant would make the Giants title contenders.
Bryant turns 30 in November, so the team he decides to sign with will be the most important decision he makes in his career. If he’s willing to humble himself and take a backseat to Beckham, it might be the best decision for him as he can make the Giants contenders while simultaneously seeking revenge on those dreaded Cowboys.