Former Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl wide receiver Dez Bryant still remains unsigned since having been released last month, but it isn’t because nobody has been interested in him. It has at least in part been due to his own personal decisions, and among those was turning down a multi-year offer that the Baltimore Ravens presented him.
When first released, the Ravens were the team to most heavily pursue Bryant, with the pursuit going so far as to develop into contract talks. Baltimore couldn’t meet the receiver’s terms, however. They needed a multi-year deal to disperse the cap hit, while Bryant is looking for a lucrative one-year option that will allow him to be a free agent again in 2019.
The former first-round pick remains without a contract even though teams are already through the draft and their rookie minicamps, though in truth there are actually a pretty good number of available free agents among notable names, including some who are unrestricted free agents, rather than street free agents.
There was a late report that the Green Bay Packers could possibly be interested in pursuing him, but a subsequent report indicated they would not. A Twitter commenter posed the question of whether or not Bryant now regrets not signing with the Ravens, the only team known to have formally presented him with an offer to date. He saw that message and responded.
He said that he doesn’t regret his decision one bit, though expressed appreciation for the offer. He also questioned the intent of certain coverage of his free agency. “What’s crazy is how reports like this will try to tarnish someone[‘s] character”, he said, referencing a “slight jab” about being “not easy to get along with”.
It remains to be seen what the future holds for Bryant, though it’s pretty clear that future will not take place in Baltimore. Though the Ravens had by that time already signed John Brown and Michael Crabtree in free agency, they did subsequently sign Willie Snead as well, and they also drafted two wide receivers in the middle rounds, and two tight ends capable of contributing in the passing game.
Something may open up for him soon after teams begin to get on the field with their veterans in the next couple of weeks, though.
NFL teams have not been on the field actually participating in full-fledged practices since last season, outside of their rookie and first-year players. They don’t really know exactly where they stand until that happens.
After teams get a chance to take stock of what they have available to them, they will begin going back to what is still available and seeing if there are any additions that make sense for them. Bryant will be one of the biggest names on that circuit, without a doubt. He may just have to be patient.