The Cleveland Browns already offered Dez Bryant a contract worth $5 million for the 2018 season. That’s more than enough money for the controversial star.
When Dez Bryant traveled to Cleveland to visit with the Browns, many people thought his visit would end by signing a deal with the team. That obviously didn’t happen. Some people believe Bryant wasn’t happy with his potential salary with the Browns.
NFL sources allege Cleveland offered Bryant a one-year deal worth slightly less than $5 million in base salary. It’s possible that money wasn’t enough to convince the former Cowboys star to sign on the dotted line. That doesn’t mean the Browns organization should increase the offer by a single dollar.
While $5 million isn’t a big number for Bryant, it’s commensurate with how much value he’s likely to provide the Browns. Unless the team’s wide receiver room is beset by injuries, Bryant isn’t going to be a starter on the outside. Jarvis Landry, Josh Gordon and Antonio Callaway are all better suited to play that position than Bryant is at this point in his career. He simply lacks the speed required to win one-on-one battles with quality cornerbacks on the outside.
That means his best position is in the slot. That’s also the best place for Landry. It’s very possible that Bryant would struggle to get meaningful snaps in Cleveland if everyone stays healthy. Paying anything more than $5 million for a player you hope you don’t have to use is pretty bad business.
Even if circumstances cause the Browns to start Bryant on the outside, it’s highly unlikely the offense will be good enough to achieve any meaningful success. It’s possible Bryant could put up decent numbers if he ended up getting enough targets, but he wouldn’t be an efficient receiver. Paying big money to a player who can’t really elevate your offense is another example of poor roster management.
The right thing for the Browns organization to do at this point is to stand still. As the season progresses, the pressure is going to start to pile on Bryant to find a home. It’s possible another team could swoop in for him, but his market isn’t exactly scorching at the moment. The Browns should sit back and wait for him to accept their original offer. Paying Bryant anything more than $5 million would be a massive overpay for the team’s new front office regime.