Right now there are very few teams looking for a veteran wide receiver like Dez Bryant. The Dallas Cowboys released Bryant late in the offseason, when teams had already spent most of their free agent dollars and when they were anticipating younger, cheaper talent coming out in the 2018 NFL Draft. With the preparations for the 2018 season in full swing across the NFL there is one team that could use Bryant, the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Jaguars lost Allen Robinson to the Chicago Bears and Allen Hurns to the Cowboys this offseason. The Jaguars’ solution for replacing them is promoting Marqise Lee, an interesting payer but one who has disappointed for most of his career though he does have 119 receptions and 1553 yards and six touchdowns over the last two seasons. They also signed Donte Moncrief from the Indianapolis Colts.
Following Lee and Moncrief is Keelan Cole, who could start ahead of Moncrief. Cole caught 42 passes for 748 yards and three touchdowns in his rookie season. He certainly showed flashes last year. After Cole the production falls off. Dede Westbrook had an up and down rookie year and finished with 27 catches for 339 yards and one TD. 2018 second round pick D.J. Chark could be an interesting addition to the receiving corps but it might take him a little while to learn the offense.
What harm is there in bringing in Bryant? Granted, Tom Coughlin doesn’t like the nonsense that is sometimes associated with Bryant but he isn’t as bad as some other diva receivers in the league these days. Certainly Coughlin has handled similar personalities during his tenure with the Giants.
The Jaguars are a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Their defense is arguably the best in the NFL. Their running game was solid. Their one weakness last season was their passing game. Blake Bortles might not be the best quarterback in the league but teams have certainly won with lesser talent under center. Giving him some weapons to throw to only makes sense and Bryant might be the best receiver still on the market.
Bryant hasn’t been a great receiver for three years. His last 1000-yard season came in 2014 but he did catch 69 passes for 838 yards last season in a run-first offense. He is also still a threat in the red zone with six TDs last year and eight in 2016. There might be a little something left in the tank.
Bryant only wants a one-year prove it deal. That would be a perfect fit for the Jaguars who have some young receivers who might benefit from having a veteran of his stature on the team, taking the pressure off of them. Further, Bryant could be motivated to prove the Cowboys were wrong, along with the rest of the NFL which seems to think that Bryant is done. Bringing Bryant in on a one-year, incentive laden deal might be best for both sides. This seems like a union that would be good for both sides but one that probably won’t happen.