Dez Bryant is done in Dallas, putting the three-time Pro Bowler on the open market less than two weeks before the NFL Draft.
At 29 years old, Bryant's play has declined precipitously, and he hasn't cleared 900 receiving yards in the past three seasons. Despite the drop in production and persistent questions over the years about his sideline demeanor, Bryant should find a healthy market, for the right price.
Let's dive into 10 hypothetical landing spots where the ex-Cowboys receiver could be throwing up the X in 2018:
1. Washington Redskins
Never underestimate rivalry. Surely the Redskins would love to snag their division opponent's former top target and deploy him twice a year against Dallas. Bryant could revel in facing the team that cut him to try to prove it was the wrong decision. It wouldn't be a surprise if team owner Daniel Snyder opens the pocketbook to offer Dez the most money on the open market. Oh, and how fun would it be for former enemies, Bryant and Josh Norman, to hook up with the same team?
2. San Francisco 49ers
Dez's best attribute at this stage of his career is his red-zone acumen. Too often last season once Jimmy Garoppolo took over, San Francisco stalled in scoring position. The 49ers could use a big touchdown target for Jimmy G, which makes San Francisco a logical landing spot for Bryant, on paper. Deploying Bryant alongside Pierre Garcon, Marquise Goodwin and Trent Taylor would give Kyle Shanahan flexible chess pieces to play with.
3. Baltimore Ravens
Ozzie Newsome already added Michael Crabtree and John Brown to his receiving corps, but signing Bryant would provide pop for Joe Flacco. Breshad Perriman's injury history necessitates the Ravens continue to search for depth. Dez would bring more than that. He would provide a red-zone combination alongside Crabtree that would make life immensely easier for Flacco.
4. Houston Texans
The Texans snagging a star player from their in-state rival would be icing on the cake. Bryant heading to Houston would also make on-field sense. Playing alongside DeAndre Hopkins would take pressure off Bryant and allow him more one-on-one matchup on the opposite side. Imagine trying to defend Hopkins and Bryant in the end zone. It would also buffer the options for young quarterback Deshaun Watson. After upgrading the defense with one star castoff, Tyrann Mathieu, Houston could add another in Bryant.
5. Seattle Seahawks
Adding a player like Bryant would further the Seahawks' attempt to remake their roster in Russell Wilson's image. Dez could fit alongside slot receiver Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett as Wilson's primary targets. Bryant's red-zone acumen would also make up for the loss of tight end Jimmy Graham. We know coach Pete Carroll doesn't shy away from adding big personalities to his locker room.
6. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals might not be an obvious landing spot, but Arizona still has a need at receiver. The main reason I want the Cards on this list is for the possibility of Bryant working with Larry Fitzgerald. Fitzy has magnificently stiff-armed father time, morphing his game as he aged. It's something many analysts have said Dez needs to do as he reaches 30. Fitzgerald has even been mentioned as an example Bryant needs to follow. What if he could work every day with the master himself?
7. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jags let Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns walk in free agency, deciding to ride younger players Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole and give Donte Moncrief a surprising contract. On paper, adding Bryant would boost the underneath game for Blake Bortles and provide a red-zone target for a team that relies heavily on Leonard Fournette near the goal line.
8. New York Giants
Signing Bryant doesn't feel like a Dave Gettleman move, but swapping Brandon Marshall for Dez would be an upgrade alongside Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard. Adding Bryant would further signify the Giants' intentions to try to pry open the Eli Manning era. There's also that in-division rivalry aspect to keep in mind.
9. Carolina Panthers
The Panthers attempted to get faster at receiver last season by trading away Kelvin Benjamin to mixed results. Importing Bryant would halt that plan, but provide Cam Newton a big-bodied pass-catcher to snag his high throws. New GM Marty Hurney feels more likely to take a risk on importing a personality like Bryant than his predecessor, Gettleman. Also, the Panthers host the Cowboys in 2018, if, you know, Dez needs that revenge factor.
10. New England Patriots
It's written in stone on The Internet Sports Writing Ten Commandments tablets that every big-name player must be linked to the Patriots. Does New England need to add another receiver to its glut of pass-catchers? No. Does Bryant's personality seem to fit with the Patriot Way? Not really. Would coach Bill Belichick pay the kind of money it could take to lure Dez to Foxborough? Unlikely. Does any of that matter when we are conjuring up connect-the-dot reasons a player might sign with one of 31 franchises? Nope.