NFL

The Saints Desperately Need Dez Bryant More Than Ever

There is a growing concern around the New Orleans Saints stemming from star quarterback Drew Brees’ struggles. These issues have become more apparent, especially with All-Pro wideout Michael Thomas sidelined due to an ankle injury. All that said, it should lend the Saints to explore potentially bringing former Pro Bowl wide receiver Dez Bryant.

Saints are struggling without Michael Thomas

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Through Michael Thomas’ first four seasons in the league, he has firmly established himself as one of the top wide receivers in the game.

Thomas has also cemented himself as the primary piece in the Saints’ offensive game plan. The All-Pro wideout is the anchor in their passing game, which was cemented behind snagging an NFL record 149 receptions for 1,725 receiving yards and nine touchdowns in 2019.

However, the Saints are without their star wide receiver as he’s dealing with an ankle injury. It forced him to miss Week 2 action against the Las Vegas Raiders with the strong possibility of missing more games. The Saints have sent Thomas to renowned surgeon Dr. Robert Anderson, who will further examine his mild high ankle sprain.

It shouldn’t draw a more significant concern, but rather it’s to help determine how much longer he will be sidelined. Regardless of how it goes, it’s clear that the Saints need help in their passing game beyond Thomas, and adding Dez Bryant could be a part of the solution.

Saints should look to bring in Dez Bryant

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It’s no secret that veteran wide receiver Dez Bryant has a strong desire to get back into the NFL.

He hasn’t played a single down since the 2017 campaign when he was a member of the Dallas Cowboys. However, Bryant has remained in strong physical shape and worked his way back from a devastating torn Achilles that ended his tenure with the Saints in November 2018 before it ever got started.

The 31-year-old has received interest from NFL teams over the last few years, including a workout with the Baltimore Ravens before the 2020 season. Nothing came about from that situation, but it does show that an opportunity to return may be there.

Since Thomas went down with his ankle injury, there have been reports shooting down any immediate notion that the Saints would pursue Bryant. That dialogue hasn’t changed, but after what Drew Brees has displayed in the first two weeks of his 20th season, it wouldn’t hurt to bring Bryant aboard.

Low-risk, high-reward move

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The Saints already hold some familiarity with Dez Bryant after bringing him aboard during the 2018 season.

It was cut short due to a disappointing injury, but Bryant already possesses the sense of what the franchise wants. He’s a proven asset in the passing game that could excel in the red zone and become a dependable target for Drew Brees.

Yes, there were questions about Bryant’s ability to separate from defenders before his Achilles injury, but he has had two offseason to get his body right and ready to play. He can step in to be a factor in the passing game, especially with Michael Thomas still on the mend.

Beyond that, it’s a low-risk, high-reward move as the team could potentially secure him on a one-year deal for the rest of the 2020 season. It will be on Bryant to prove that he has plenty of gas left in the tank, like how Cam Newton has done with his situation with the New England Patriots.

In other words, the opportunity to prove it may go a long way in seeing how much Bryant can contribute at this stage of his career.