When Josh Gordon announced in late July that he wouldn't be available for the start of training camp, it came as news to the Browns. It also meant the team, coming off an 0-16 campaign, could look to bolster the position until Gordon returned, hopefully before the start of the season.
Dez Bryant, who spent the first eight seasons with the Cowboys before his release this spring, was NFL's most notable free-agent and an obvious candidate to sign with a team with needs at the position. In fact, general manager John Dorsey said a day after Gordon's announcement that the team had discussions about bringing Bryant in, and reportedly went so far as to reach out to Bryant about a possible short-term deal.
It's taken a couple weeks but there appears to be progress between the two sides. On Thursday, Dorsey said the team will work out a group of wide receivers next week and Bryant could be among them -- with one caveat.
"If he returns a phone call, [Bryant may be among the players working out]," Dorsey said, via the Akron Beacon Journal's Nate Ulrich. "But he doesn't return any phone calls."
Perhaps Dorsey should tweet at Bryant because he seems to check Twitter more than his phone.
It's unclear how long Bryant needs, but it wants to make it clear that he's not against playing in Cleveland.
Meanwhile, Dorsey talked about when we might see Gordon again.
As it stands, the Browns' depth chart at wide receiver includes offseason acquisition Jarvis Landry, rookie Antonio Callaway, Jeff Janis and Rashard Higgins. The team traded 2016 first-rounder Corey Coleman to the Bills last week after a disappointing stretch in Cleveland that included just 19 appearances in 36 possible games.
Which brings us back to Bryant.
"I've had the chance to be around Dez," Dorsey said earlier in training camp. "I actually had the chance down in Lufkin, Texas, during his workout to get the chance to meet him down there. I know what kind of person he is and what makes him. He's a very talented player."
The only downside for Bryant joining the Browns -- apart from playing for a team that has a single win in two seasons -- is that they won't face the Cowboys this season.