Dez Bryant, Ravens Agree to Practice-Squad Contract; WR Says He's 'Thankful'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistOctober 27, 2020

FILE - In this Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017, file photo, Dallas Cowboys' Dez Bryant warms up before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers in Arlington, Texas. Free-agent wide receiver Bryant took to social media Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, to call out his former team with a series of critical tweets aimed at the Dallas Cowboys. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins, File)
Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

Dez Bryant has caught on with another team.

The Baltimore Ravens announced Tuesday they signed the former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver to a practice-squad contract. 

Baltimore Ravens @Ravens

🙅‍♂️ @DezBryant | #RavensFlock https://t.co/2ypHKM8KAm

Bryant gave his thoughts on his return to the NFL, noting he was "thankful":

Dez Bryant @DezBryant

My emotions running high right now... I’m thankful...I can’t stop crying 😂

Last year, the 31-year-old tweeted that he was feeling like himself and planned on reaching out to teams:

Dez Bryant @DezBryant

I’m not trying to go nowhere and be a starter on a team I want to contribute because I know I will be able too... I’m feeling good... in two weeks I’m going to reach out to teams and see what happens.... let’s go X

Dez Bryant @DezBryant

Feeling like me again X https://t.co/seVWKorQUk

The Oklahoma State product also posted a video of himself running routes last October:

Dez Bryant @DezBryant

In da 🔬 with @drobalwayzopen https://t.co/xdRRDV3OS2

Bryant's deal comes less than a week after ESPN's Josina Anderson reported the Ravens planned on bringing him in as a member of the practice squad. Rapoport echoed that report and noted that was the plan if he passed a physical and performed well in a workout.

Bryant seemed to be on the road to a comeback in November 2018 when he signed with the New Orleans Saints, but he tore his Achilles before he could take the field in a game. Adam Schefter of ESPN noted at the time there was an expected eight-month recovery period for the injury.

Nearly two years later, Bryant will attempt to rediscover the production of his prime, when he was one of the league's best playmakers.

He is a three-time Pro Bowler and was a first-team All-Pro in 2014 with 88 catches for 1,320 yards and a league-leading 16 touchdowns. It was the third consecutive year he finished with double-digit touchdown catches and more than 1,200 receiving yards.

However, his production fell off from there, as he played just nine games in 2015 and failed to reach 850 receiving yards or double-digit touchdowns in 2016 and 2017.

Bryant hasn't played since the 2017 campaign, but he said in a tweet he isn't looking to be a No. 1 receiver and just wants to contribute.

He can do that with Baltimore as a 6'2" physical presence who can slide into a secondary role and take advantage of the single coverage he will face when opposing defenses focus on Marquise Brown, Mark Andrews and the rushing attack that features quarterback Lamar Jackson. Bryant figures to be a red-zone target who can capitalize on fade routes with his size.

If he thrives, he could contribute to capturing the first ring of his career.