After a storied career with the Cowboys, fan-favorite and superstar wide receiver Dez Bryant was released and is now a free agent. During his eight seasons in the NFL, all in Dallas, Bryant amassed 531 catches for 7,495 yards and 73 touchdowns.
The main reason that reporters are citing for Dez’s release is that he wouldn’t take a pay cut from the five-year, 70 million dollar contract he received before the 2015 season. For a receiver who didn’t have one game with more than 100 receiving yards, 16.5 million dollars in 2018 seemed excessive.
— Jonah Javad (@JonahJavad) April 13, 2018
Soon after his release, Dez kept retweeting tweets that mentioned him being on an NFC East team (including the one above), but it was quickly reported afterward that the Eagles, Giants, and Redskins were not interested in him. Because of that development people were starting to wonder which teams would be contending to sign Dez Bryant.
And now some believe that one of the teams who’ll pursue Dez Bryant may be the Houston Texans: mainly because Dez retweeted a Twitter post by Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins that depicted him in a Texans uniform. Tyrann Mathieu soon followed with his own recruiting pitch by tweeting, “Come to Houston bro.”
— Deandre Hopkins (@DeAndreHopkins) April 13, 2018
Come to Houston bro… @DezBryant
— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) April 13, 2018
So should the Texans sign Dez Bryant and have him become another weapon for Deshaun Watson to work with? The answer is no, and there are a variety of reasons as to why the Texans should not sign Dez Bryant.
The first one being that there is no need for the Texans to spend money against the salary cap on another wide receiver. DeAndre Hopkins was one of the best receivers in football last season and already fills the role of jump ball receiver that Dez had for so many years in Dallas. Will Fuller was also a good receiver and constantly went off for big plays down the field last season.
What the Texans need is a slot receiver and tight end: not a player like Dez Bryant. That is why in our latest FPC Texans Mock Draft, we have the Texans going after players like Mike Gesicki and Braxton Berrios. Going for receiving weapons in the draft is far more inexpensive than having to sign Bryant to a large contract.
Another reason why the Texans shouldn’t sign Dez Bryant is that there is no guarantee that he’ll produce and be worth a potential contract. He hasn’t had a season with 80 catches, 1,000 yards, or 10 touchdowns since 2014, and has missed 10 games over the past three seasons due to injury. In addition, despite being healthy all of 2017, his 75.2 grade ranked 47th among all wide receivers on Pro Football Focus. And this is likely to continue, as he is approaching his age 30 season in 2018.
It is worth noting that it seems like Dez Bryant has a new motivation after being released, and could be in store for a potential comeback season, but this potential doesn’t outweigh the injury risks and the visible decline in on-the-field performance.
One final, and more subtle, reason that the Texans shouldn’t sign Dez is that he could stir up trouble with the Texans locker room and management. Dez has been known for his repeated sideline outbursts, and it seems that his recent performance wasn’t enough to outweigh the trouble he caused.
Stephen Jones elaborated on Dez’s emotional and fiery behavior, “Sometimes that can be a distraction. It can be a distraction for Dez, it can be a distraction for other teammates.”
Because Dez Bryant is not needed on the Texans, is becoming an injury prone player, has been declining in performance, and could end up stirring up trouble in the locker, the Texans should not sign him.