On Friday evening, after Bryant opened up about the breakup during an interview with NFL Network's Jane Slater. Though Bryant spoke highly of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, the Cowboys organization, and the fanbase, he did say that there are certain individuals on the team who wanted him gone and might've pushed for his release.with his release,
He referred to those individuals as "Garrett guys" -- presumably meaning: "Jason Garrett guys" -- and strongly hinted that the Cowboys' captains might've been some of those individuals.
"I'll say this right here: I believe that 'Garrett guys.' I would say that," he said when asked if some teammates had a role in the Cowboys' decision to cut him, per NFL.com.
"I won't put no names out, but they know and I want them to know. I know," Bryant also said. "I'll shoot them a text message and let them know. Little do they know is, you know, they can wear that 'C' all they want to, but in that locker room, they know they run and they talk to. They know who they communicate with. Everybody knows where the real love is at. I'm not throwing anybody under the bus, but that's the difference between me and them."
"They can wear that 'C' all they want to," likely refers to the Cowboys' captains. So, who were the Cowboys' captains in 2017?
- Quarterback Dak Prescott
- Tight end Jason Witten
- Linebacker Sean Lee
- Defensive end Tyrone Crawford
- Cornerback Orlando Scandrick
- Kicker Dan Bailey
That's interesting, chiefly because earlier on Friday, Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson reported that Bryant "was sacrificed in part because of his fit with Prescott."
Bryant wasn't getting the separation that made him great. His routes weren't precise enough. He wasn't catching balls that weren't perfectly placed. His effort wasn't always where it needed to be. His game still contained an emotional component that wasn't ideal for Prescott's development. And then finally, he was making too much money to have three straight seasons of subpar production, regardless of the reasons for those performances.
Over the past two seasons with Prescott at quarterback, Bryant caught 119 passes for 1,634 yards and 14 touchdowns. That doesn't necessarily mean that Prescott pushed for Bryant to get cut -- most of the paragraph above seemed more about a lack of a football fit rather than a clash of personalities -- but it is worth noting. It is also worth noting that Witten spoke highly of Bryant in January when FS1's Skip Bayless asked him what went wrong with Bryant, calling him an "elite player."
Despite the painful ending, Bryant had nothing but praise for Jerry Jones, saying "he loved me to death and I loved him too." He added that he loves the Cowboys fans and the Cowboys organization.
And so, the end is here. Bryant is a free agent for the first time in his career. He's entering free agency at a horrible time. Not only is he clearly on the downslope of his career -- he hasn't hit the 1,000-yard mark since 2014 -- but he's also hitting free agency in mid-April, long after most teams threw buckets of money at free agents. Bryant has said he wants to remain in the NFC East to get his revenge against the Cowboys,There's no doubt that Bryant will have suitors, but he might need to look outside the division to find them.
On that note, we ranked 14 landing spots for Bryant, including 11 teams that don't belong to the NFC East.