The Cincinnati Bengals have been looking for a wide receiver to bolster the group alongside A.J. Green but Dez Bryant is not the answer.
The Dallas Cowboys have decided to part ways with longtime wide receiver Dez Bryant. While Bryant was one of the top receivers in the NFL not too long ago, his last three seasons with the Cowboys have seen a decline in production due to injuries and offensive scheme. With former quarterback Tony Romo under center, Bryant was the go-to guy but not since Romo was hurt a few years back.
Since 2014, Bryant has failed to reach 1,000 yards, 10 touchdowns, or even 80 catches. Since signing his lucrative contract, Bryant has not put up the numbers worth keeping him in Dallas. The offense has run primarily around running back Ezekiel Elliott the last couple of seasons. The team also added former Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Allen Hurns this offseason so it made no sense for the team to keep Bryant if he was unwilling to take a pay cut.
Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones talked about how Bryant wasn’t living up to expectations. Bryant, who made $17 million last season, was tied for third in the league in dropped passes. His outbursts on the sidelines have also been an issue in Dallas whether the team wanted to admit it or not. His most recent came on Christmas Eve against the Seattle Seahawks when Bryant dropped a crucial pass and fumbled on his next target. The Cowboys lost that game 21-12.
After not exceeding even 100 yards in a single game during the 2017 season, it makes sense for the Cowboys to move on and focus on the rest of their offense without all of the antics. He was set to make $16.5 million in 2018 which clearly is way too much for his production over the last three years.
Why Dez Bryant will not be a Bengal in 2018
Cincinnati has tried the Madden roster move that brought Terrell Owens here to work opposite of wide receiver Chad Johnson. Both of which were very emotional players were consistently fighting over who should be getting more targets and no matter how many times quarterback Carson Palmer would throw their way, it wasn’t enough.
Wide receiver A.J. Green is nowhere close to the emotional player either of those was but Bryant absolutely is. The Bengals have tight end, Tyler Eifert, to feed the ball to as long as he stays healthy as well which would mean even fewer targets for Bryant in Cincinnati. This would quickly become a problem as Bryant will be looking to have a big year and prove that he is still a dominant receiver in the NFL worth paying.
The Bengals have already spent a great deal of draft capital the last couple of years on the wide receiver position and still have yet to see how those players will be in more effective roles. Bringing in Bryant would not only cause CAP issues for the Bengals forcing them to release other players to make the deal but it would mean they wasted those picks on receivers without giving them a chance.
Cincinnati already has to pay top talented defenders in defensive tackle Geno Atkins and defensive end Carlos Dunlap sometime this year. Both contracts expire after the 2018 season and those two players are what holds down the defensive line. Bryant is not worth letting one of those two defensive players walk for, especially with the production he has put up lately.