A month ago I would’ve bemoaned the idea of the Tennessee Titans showing interest in Dez Bryant.
For quite some time, I’ve believed his value on the field isn’t on the same level as his name recognition.
But now that over 40 days have passed since the Dallas Cowboys released the veteran wide receiver, I think the Titans should at least take a look at signing the polarizing former Pro-Bowler.
Bryant could make a lot of sense for the Titans in 2018. He isn’t looking for a long term deal, and his price tag likely isn’t as high as it was a month ago.
The Titans have a lot of talent among their wide receiver group, but they don’t have a lot of experience. That’s something that could hurt the offense in 2018. Young players make mistakes. There are growing pains. That’s just football.
Signing Bryant could alleviate some of those growing pains.
And look, I know Bryant’s had his share of on-the-field issues. He’s been labeled as a “cry baby” at times. But I wouldn’t be surprised if being released by the Cowboys, and going without a team for over a month, has humbled Bryant a bit.
At the end of the day, Bryant just wants to win. He wants to play on a team that is capable of reaching the Super Bowl.
If the Titans were to sign Bryant, however, they wouldn’t be getting a superstar wide receiver that instantly changes the offense.
Bryant hasn’t accumulated more than 1,000 receiving yards in a season since 2014. He’s went 22 games without a 100 yard game.
Part of the reason for his decline in numbers has been due to injury. There’s also the fact that Bryant hasn’t had Tony Romo throwing him the ball the past two seasons.
While those are valid reasons, it’s still impossible to ignore that a healthy Bryant had only 838 receiving yards in 16 games last season.
So why sign Dez?
At 29, Bryant is far from “washed up”. He still has the potential be a very productive wide receiver in the NFL.
Plus, he would give the Titans something they need — a big-time red zone threat.
The Titans finished in the middle of the pack in red zone touchdown scoring percentage last season, but that percentage dropped nearly 20 percent in 2017 from 2016.
Bryant might not be a guy who is going to lead the league in receiving touchdowns anymore, but he’s still one of the most dangerous red zone threats in the league.
The Titans would also be a good fit for Bryant because there would be a lot less pressure on him then there has been in previous years. Not only will he be out from under the microscope of playing for the Cowboys, but he’ll have more young talent around him. The weight of the entire passing game won’t be on Bryant’s shoulders like it was in Dallas.
Plus, since Bryant is only looking for a one year deal, the Titans won’t have to make a longterm commitment to him that could possibly impede the progress of Corey Davis and Taywan Taylor. Instead, Bryant could help bridge the gap of Davis learning to be a true number one wide receiver.
There are plenty of reasons to not sign Bryant. But at the end of the day, he’s a talented football player that could possibly make the Titans’ offense better in 2018.
I’m not saying Jon Robinson should definitely ink Dez to a deal, but he should at least explore the option now that his market price has dropped a bit.
By the way, there’s one big reason Bryant could choose to sign with the Titans — Tennessee plays in Dallas on Monday Night Football in November.
Featured image via Sports Illustrated