By Staff Writer Tom Griffin.
The 2018 NFL season has been a physically and emotionally harsh one for Dez Bryant.
The Pro Bowl wide out of Dallas Cowboys fame was cut from his former team following an eight-year tenure as the team’s star. Despite reliable output as an offensive weapon, the eight-million-dollar player was given his walking papers in April following a string of fruitless seasons and a division rival’s first Super Bowl win.
Stephen Jones, Vice President of the Cowboys and son of team owner Jerry Jones, claimed that Bryant’s intense personality was at fault for his release from the team. Jones stated that Bryant was “a distraction” that was constantly “in the ear” of new star Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott. Rather than manage Bryant’s locker-room issues, the team instead decided to cut him to focus their offensive efforts on Prescott and burgeoning star running back Ezekiel Elliot.
Drafted by the Cowboys in 2010 and spending his entire career in Dallas, Bryant was noted to have not wanted to leave the city and the team but understood the organization’s wishes. “Forever Dallas in my heart,” he tweeted.
Several months had passed since the Cowboys’ executive decision to cut Bryant. The season was about to start, but Bryant was still team-less and without a job. Nearing 30 years of age, he was still physically capable of playing a few more seasons if he so pleased. However, no teams sent Bryant offers.
Sitting out the first half of the season, Bryant was approached by the 7-1 New Orleans Saints. The Saints, led by quarterback Drew Brees and running back Alvin Kamara, had put up the second highest league-wide scoring offense on the season, despite Brees’ lack of passing options.
New Orleans had been performing far better than Dallas on the season, and if Bryant were to join Brees and Kamara in a triple-threat offense, the team could be all but unstoppable. In essence, this could be the aging Bryant’s last chance at a Super Bowl run.
On the seventh of November, Bryant and the Saints agreed to a one-year contract. He would be a Saint, and in four days, he would be facing off against the Cincinnati Bengals. That much was true, however, until the Saints practiced on November 10th.
Nearing the end of the last practice before the game, Bryant suffered a torn Achilles while running routes. Having practiced less than a week with the team, he would be benched once again, unable to play an NFL game. Making matters worse, doctors reported that his injury could keep him inactive for up to eight months, practically ending Bryant’s time with the Saints before it could really even begin.
From firing, to sitting out, to re-hiring, to injuring, and then to sitting out again, Dez Bryant has yet to touch an NFL field this season, and he won’t for the rest of 2018. Time will tell if Dez Bryant’s career continues with the Saints into the next season, or even at all.