Two of the NFL’s most respected reporters connected the Browns with the former Cowboys receiver on Friday.
As training camps open across the NFL this week, the biggest name still on the free agent market is Dez Bryant. According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, the Browns might be the landing spot for Bryant.
Cabot first reported that the Browns have spoken with Bryant’s representatives. Rapoport followed that up by saying the two sides have mutual interest and the team would like to have Bryant in for a visit soon.
Bryant was released by the Dallas Cowboys in April. His market has been colder than expected for a player of his recognition. Bryant is a three-time Pro Bowler and one-time All-Pro. He had 7,459 receiving yards and 73 touchdowns in eight seasons in Dallas.
Some analysts have questioned the Cowboys for releasing their former star after the NFL’s free agency period in March. Many teams had filled all their needs or spent whatever money they had available by the time Bryant entered the market.
However, Bryant will turn 30 in November and hasn’t had a 1,000-yard season since 2014.
Whether due to injury or age, Bryant has struggled to gain separation from defenders in recent seasons. Over the last three years, Bryant has only caught 150 of the 300 targets sent his way. In his first five seasons, Bryant caught more than 62 percent of passes thrown to him.
The Browns’ interest in Bryant continues to fuel speculation that Josh Gordon may not be ready for the season. Gordon and the team announced this week that he is still receiving treatment for his physical and mental health and he would not be at training camp.
If Gordon is available, the team appears to be set at wide receiver with the addition of Jarvis Landry to go with Gordon and former first-round pick Corey Coleman.