The Dez Bryant “sweepstakes” officially came to an end this week when the former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver was signed by the New Orleans Saints.
During the off-season, and at times during the season, there were plenty of Tennessee Titans fans clamoring for Jon Robinson to sign the polarizing wide receiver.
There’s no doubt the Titans needed some more offensive firepower, but signing Bryant wasn’t a surefire solution.
Now that Bryant has signed with a team, all eyes, including many in Nashville, will be on the former Oklahoma State standout to see if he can once again be a dynamic playmaker.
If Bryant excels in The Big Easy, I’m betting there will be a litany of Titans fans who will proclaim that not signing him was a mistake by Robinson.
But I think that would be an extremely bad take.
And it really comes down to one simple reason — Dez is stepping into a dynamic offense in New Orleans that was already thriving without him. He isn’t being asked to fix anything. There are no grandiose expectations for him. Bryant is simply going to be a complementary player in an offense that already includes Drew Brees, Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram and Tre’Quan Smith.
Obviously the Saints are expecting Bryant to produce, but he’s not “the missing piece” that some Titans fans wanted him to be in Nashville.
The #Saints signed WR Dez Bryant to a 1-year deal worth $1.75M max, pro-rated, source said. Bryant can earn $500K in reception incentives in the deal, making it worth up to $1M for the last 8 games.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 8, 2018
Let’s not forget that Bryant will be playing with a much more capable quarterback in Brees. Nothing against Marcus Mariota, I was encouraged by his play against the Cowboys on Monday night, but he’s no Brees. Not many quarterbacks will ever be on the same level as Brees.
Bryant is the type of player that is dependent on strong quarterback play. His best seasons in Dallas came with Tony Romo under center. When Dak Prescott took over in 2016, Bryant’s play sharply declined.
For now, Mariota is in the same sentence with Prescott. That’s why there’s no guarantee a marriage between Bryant and the Titans would’ve been fruitful at all. In fact, it probably would’ve been a bit disappointing (based on his final seasons with the Cowboys and the fact he hasn’t played in nearly a year).
Maybe Bryant will excel in New Orleans, where he won’t be the focal point of the offense. It’s truly a perfect situation for Dez.
But I don’t think Titans fans should hold not signing Bryant against Robinson and the Titans’ front office, regardless of what transpires during the final half of the 2018 season.
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