The time is now for the Patriots to sign Dez Bryant

New England Patriots

With Eric Decker’s retirement taking away from an already depleted receiving core, the Patriots could really use Dez Bryant — who is still available.

At this point, it really doesn’t seem like either Dez Bryant or the New England Patriots have anything to lose by striking up a deal.

It seems like the Patriots are losing depth at the wide receiver position almost on a daily basis. Danny Amendola left town to join the division rival Miami Dolphins. Months ago, New England’s longtime No. 1 receiver, Julian Edelman, was suspended for the first four games of the 2018 season for violating the NFL’s performance enhancing drugs policy (after already missing all of last season with a torn ACL).

Weeks ago, the Patriots released Malcolm Mitchell and newcomer Jordan Matthews, both of whom have been dealing with health issues. About a week ago, they released veteran Kenny Britt. Finally, on Sunday, Eric Decker announced his retirement from the NFL just a few weeks after the Patriots signed him to serve as somewhat of a temporary replacement for the suspended Edelman.

With such a depleted core, it was expected that Decker would carry quite a bit of the receiving load, at least until Edelman returns in Week 5. But now that he’s out of the picture too, it certainly couldn’t hurt for Bill Belichick to give Bryant a shot. At this point, the Pats just need bodies out on the field for Tom Brady to throw to.

Meanwhile, Bryant is coming off an ugly divorce with the Dallas Cowboys, the team he’s played for since 2010. After the Cleveland Browns passed on an opportunity to sign Bryant — a three-time Pro Bowler and former receiving touchdowns leader, by the way — he’s still searching for a home for the 2018 season. Right about now, he could use the Patriots just as much as they could use him.

With only one preseason game remaining, Bryant wouldn’t have a lot of time to adjust to playing in the New England offense. But with a quarterback like Brady and a head coach like Belichick — not to mention an offensive coordinator like Josh McDaniels — it’s likely that he would catch on pretty quick.

Next: Eric Decker announces retirement after 8 NFL seasons

The possibility of Bryant landing in New England has been speculated upon for a couple of weeks. But since he’s still unsigned with less two weeks to go until the regular season kicks off, coupled with the fact that the Patriots are heavily lacking in the receiving department, there has never been a better time to get a deal done than right now.

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