Dez Bryant Rumors: Free-Agent WR in Negotiations with Saints After Workout

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistNovember 7, 2018

ARCHIVO - En esta foto del 17 de diciembre de 2017, Dez Bryant, receptor de los Cowboys de Dallas, conduce el balón en un partido ante los Raiders de Oakland (AP Foto/Eric Risberg, archivo)
Eric Risberg/Associated Press

Wide receiver Dez Bryant isn't a member of the New Orleans Saints yet, but he still could be before the stretch run of the season.

According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, Bryant left his workout with the NFC South leaders without a contract, although the Saints "liked what they saw and the sides are in negotiations on a deal." Pelissero added "all signs pointing that way" even though he cautioned Bryant has almost signed with teams in the past.

This comes after Jane Slater of NFL Network reported Bryant was among the three wide receivers the Saints brought in for workouts.

Bryant still hasn't signed with a team since the Dallas Cowboys released him in April.

The three-time Pro Bowler was one of the league's best playmakers in his prime, with more than 1,200 receiving yards and at least 12 touchdowns in three straight seasons from 2012 through 2014. However, he missed 10 games in 2015 and 2016 and was not as productive in 2017 with 838 receiving yards and six touchdowns.

While he is no longer in his prime, Bryant would have a golden opportunity to tap into some of his old dominance playing with Drew Brees in New Orleans' offense.

The Saints are looking for a secondary receiver to bolster the passing attack alongside Michael Thomas because they placed Ted Ginn Jr. on injured reserve in October. Thomas has 70 catches for 880 yards and five touchdowns, while Tre'Quan Smith is the closest other receiver production-wise with 12 catches for 214 yards and three scores.

Mike Triplett of ESPN weighed in on the receiver situation:

Mike Triplett @MikeTriplett

If Saints do wind up signing Dez Bryant, I don’t think it signals a lack of confidence in rookie Tre’Quan Smith as much as a lack of depth. Cameron Meredith hasn’t been targeted in the last 3 games. Michael Thomas is the only WR on the team with more than 12 catches this year. https://t.co/q2KtpeBCiR

New Orleans is 7-1 and leading the NFC South with Super Bowl aspirations. As of now, secondaries can shade additional attention toward Thomas and not worry as much about the other receivers, which could cost the Saints come January.

Adding someone like Bryant would allow Brees to exploit the additional passing lanes created by the attention Thomas attracts.