Odds on Dez Bryant’s Team for Week 1 of 2020: Saints Favored

Dez Bryant on the practice field.
Dez Bryant hasn't played in the NFL since 2017 but he wants to return next year. Will an NFL team sign him? Photo by Jovie & Mayra Griffith (Wikimedia) [CC License].
  • Dez Bryant missed most of 2018 but signed midseason with the New Orleans Saints, but tore his Achilles in his first practice.
  • Bryant had 69 catches, 838 yards and six touchdowns in his last full season (in 2017).
  • The Saints have a clear need behind Michael Thomas, who has 579 more receiving yards than any other wide receiver on the team.

Dez Bryant missed almost the entire 2018 NFL season, came back late after signing with the New Orleans Saints, and quickly tore his Achilles in one of his first practices with the team.

He’s missed all of this season so far as he rehabs without being on an active roster, but on Wednesday, he indicated that he’d like to play football in 2019.

If he returns, which team is the best bet to sign him?

Odds on Potential Dez Bryant NFL Teams in 2020

Team During Week 1 Of The 2020 NFL Season Odds
New Orleans Saints +150
New England Patriots +400
Green Bay Packers +450
Buffalo Bills +700
Seattle Seahawks +700
Baltimore Ravens +800
Houston Texans +900
San Francisco 49ers +1000
Carolina Panthers +1200

Odds taken Nov. 8

What Shape Will Bryant Be In?

From what we know about Achilles tears in both the NBA and the NFL, players typically lose their explosion after suffering that type of injury. Players come back nearly 100% from torn ACL’s; torn Achilles’ are another story.

Originally, Bryant said he wanted to return in October of this season, but there hasn’t been much interest in him mid-season, so the smart move is to regroup and try to latch on during the offseason.

What’s working against Bryant is that he’s now 31 years old and theoretically past his prime.

It’s not a death knell, but teams will have to consider what he can bring to the table if his explosion is gone. Can he be a reliable route-runner or slot wideout? He wasn’t before.

He is a big target, so he should be an asset in the red zone, at the very least. Teams will find that useful.

Saints Come Marching In?

The Saints signed Bryant before the injury, so there is a natural fit. They also seem to have a need at the position as they can’t seem to find reliable options as No. 2 and No. 3 wideouts behind Michael Thomas.

This season, Thomas had 73 catches with 875 receiving yards. The next closest wideout on the team has 20 catches and 296 yards.

The team likes to have Ted Ginn Jr. as the deep threat and they were hoping that someone like TreQuan Smith, Deonte Harris or Austin Carr might emerge as secondary weapons, but these players have not contributed a ton.

Bryant – even with some lost speed – would be a much more reliable pair of hands.

Who Else Might Be Interested?

Taking a look at the odds, we’re looking at teams like the New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers, Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks on the board. The Seahawks would have been my choice, but they appear to have their best receiving corps in years now with Tyler Lockett, D.K. Metcalf and Josh Gordon.

Things could change but they appear to be locked in. As for the Patriots and Packers, they have a slew of young players they’re trying to fit in to support their star veterans. I’m guessing they won’t see much value in a 31-year-old Bryant – especially since he’d have to learn a new system to fit in.

What’s the Best Bet?

My best bet is that he’s actually not going to be back in the league in 2020 but since you’ll push if that’s the case, I think the Saints are the best bet here.

There’s familiarity between the sides, the coaching staff liked him before and there’s still a need. I expect the Saints to kick the tires and Bryant and be the only team that considers signing him.

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