The Patriots have lost four wide receivers since the start of the preseason. They cut Malcolm Mitchell, Jordan Matthews, and Kenny Britt, and now Eric Decker has retired. Some people think this means they’re going to target Dez Bryant in free agency. Here’s why that won’t happen.
For starters, he is not willing to take a reduced role in the offense. This is a deal breaker for Dez. He is the prototypical diva receiver, and he’s going to want the ball in his hands as the #1 target. He does not have the skills to be that here in New England, so I doubt he’d be willing to come here. That’s not even the biggest hurdle, however.
The biggest issue is that it’s never worked in New England. No veteran receiver has ever come in after training camp and had any meaningful impact on the team. Just last year, they tried this with Philip Dorsett, and he never seemed on the right page. This year, he looks like he might be a real factor in the offense. Maybe if he had a full offseason with the team, he’d have a chance to be successful, but even that’s not for sure.
One other thing that I think would deter Bryant from coming here is that the Patriots demand a lot from their players. If he’s not up to that challenge, he won’t be able to cut it here. If he doesn’t make the Patriots, or if he can’t get off the bench, that could be the end of his career. It’s a big risk for him to take. There are certainly other teams that might be willing to let Dez do what he wants, and not force him to conform to what everyone else is doing. Just allowing him to run the routes he’s comfortable with, and try to use his body to win battles for the football may keep him relevant in the league for at least another year.
All of these reasons combine to make it extremely unlikely that Dez Bryant signs with the Patriots. It doesn’t seem to be a good fit for either party, and I would be absolutely shocked if he ended up here. In fact, I’d be surprised if they brought in anything other than a depth wideout.
Pat is the host of the Weekend Warrior Podcast
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