Bryant likely will wait until after the 2018 NFL Draft to sign with a team, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. The Cowboys released Bryant on April 13, at which point most teams had already used up the majority of their cap space set aside for veteran acquisitions. The Ravens showed strong initial interest in Bryant, but their quick pivot to Willie Snead suggests the feeling wasn't mutual. The 29-year-old wideout hasn't minced words about his preference to stay in the NFC East, with New York seemingly his preferred destination. The Giants did release Brandon Marshall (ankle) last week in a move that cleared $5.2 million off their books, but the team still has a tight cap situation. Bryant might only be the third or fourth option in the passing game if he were to ultimately get his wish, as the Giants will bring back receivers Odell Beckham (ankle) and Sterling Shepard as well as tight end Evan Engram. Bryant is hoping to sign a one-year contract, which would allow him to hit the open market again next March, per freelance NFL reporter Ed Werder.
Bryant is unlikely to draw interest from the Ravens after the team signed Willie Snead to an offer sheet, Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com reports. Baltimore's decision to sign Snead can also be taken as a sign that Bryant wasn't responding to the team's initial interest after he was released by the Cowboys on April 13. The 29-year-old wideout has been pretty clear that he prefers to stay in the NFC East, where he'd have the opportunity to face his former team twice per season. Bryant sounded particularly excited by the prospect of joining the Giants, a team that recently released Brandon Marshall in a move that cleared up approximately $5.2 million of cap space. The Giants still have a tight cap situation as well as an impressive stash of young pass-catching talent, but it's not hard to see how Bryant could fit in alongside Odell Beckham, Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard, with the latter likely manning the slot in three-wide formations. Bryant may need to wait until after the draft, at which point it will be evident which teams truly have a need at wide receiver.
Bryant sounded excited about the idea of playing for the Giants in an interview with Mike Fisher of 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, NFL.com's Kevin Patra reports. Bryant has been clear about his preference to stay in the NFC East, where he'd face his former team twice per season. The Eagles and Redskins appear set at wide receiver, but the Giants would have an opening -- along with an extra $5.1 million in cap space -- if they were to release 34-year-old Brandon Marshall (ankle). However, there hasn't been any indication the interest is mutual, as the Giants might simply prefer to discuss a pay cut with Marshall. Per NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, Baltimore has displayed the most interest in Bryant since he was released by the Cowboys on Friday. Other possible destinations for the 29-year-old wideout include Houston, San Francisco, Green Bay, Buffalo and Arizona, though Bryant probably doesn't want to join a rebuilding team like the Bills or Cardinals, and he dismissed the idea of playing for the Packers. If he's truly set on facing the Cowboys this upcoming season, Bryant could check in with the Panthers, Seahawks, Titans or Colts.
Bryant was released Friday by the Cowboys following a brief meeting with team owner Jerry Jones, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. Scheduled for a $12.5 million base salary and $16.5 million cap hit both of the next two seasons, Bryant was still paid like an elite wideout after averaging 50 catches, 678 yards, 5.7 touchdowns and 12.7 games the past three seasons. His five-year, $70 million extension from July 2015 turned out to be a colossal bust, with major foot and knee injuries seemingly causing his skills to erode sooner than anyone had expected. Bryant nonetheless figures to draw plenty of interest as a free agent, considering he's only 29 years old and can offer a variety of explanations for his middling performance the past three years. He memorably ripped off three straight seasons with at least 88 catches, 1,233 yards and 12 touchdowns from 2012 to 2014, and he did show signs of regaining his top form in 2016, highlighted by a 9-132-2 receiving line in a playoff loss to the Packers. Offseason addition Allen Hurns profiles as the big winner back in Dallas, where Terrance Williams (foot), Cole Beasley, Deonte Thompson, Ryan Switzer and Noah Brown also will compete for roles, with more help likely on the way after the NFL Draft.
Bryant will meet with owner Jerry Jones by the end of the week, David Moore of The Dallas Morning News reports. With cap hits of $16.5 million in both of the next two seasons, Bryant has hit a crossroads with the Cowboys. The organization will have to pay up for the likes of DeMarcus Lawrence -- who received the franchise tag this offseason -- Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott in the next few years, so the team's highest-paid skill-position player appears to be the primary candidate for a restructured contract. The upcoming talks come on the heels of three underwhelming and occasionally injury-plagued campaigns. While missing 10 of a possible 48 contests during that stretch, Bryant averaged 3.9 receptions for 53.6 yards (6.8 per target) per game and scored 17 touchdowns. As an insurance policy, management reached agreement on deals with Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson last month and will have opportunities to address the position during the upcoming draft. If Bryant isn't receptive to an adjustment on his current deal, the Cowboys may pursue a drastic measure, including releasing or trading him.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/17||New York Giants||25||20.75|
|13||11/30||New Orleans Saints||20||20.00|
|16||12/23||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||31||23.75|
|17||12/30||@New York Giants||25||20.75|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||101||50||678||6||33||13.56||101|