Houston Texans: Why it’s likely the team won’t sign Dez Bryant

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 31: Wide receiver Dez Bryant
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 31: Wide receiver Dez Bryant /

As the Houston Texans have navigated their way through free agency, there’s a sort of unexpected name that has popped up that’s available in former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant. After spending all of his eight seasons with the Boys, he’s now a free agent and will be the target of many teams out there.  I don’t think he’ll sign with the Texans and let’s take a look as to why.

The Houston Texans could have an opportunity to shore up their wide receiving front if they throw their names into the hat on the Dez Bryant sweepstakes.  There will be a plethora of teams that will be clamoring for his services and veteran wide receiver will have the luxury of deciding where he will continue the rest of his career.

Bryant was owed a base salary of $12.5 million for this season as he was going into his third season of a five-year, $70 million deal that he signed back in 2015.  His cap hit would’ve been $16.5 million this season which certainly was a factor that warranted the move.

At 29-years-old, he obviously feels that he can contribute to another NFL team at a high level and help jettison their chances to get to a Super Bowl, something the Dallas Cowboys were close to sniffing at back in 2014 with his infamous “non-catch” in the waning seconds of the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers.

And rightfully so, other than earning as much money as possible as the miles start to rack up on the body, one of the other motivations is to get that coveted Super Bowl ring.  There are many players who don’t get that opportunity but Bryant is certainly in a unique situation to do so.

The argument that his skills are declining and that he’s getting past his prime cannot necessarily be made because since Bill Callahan, the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator from 2012-14, departed for the Washington Redskins, he hasn’t quite been the same player.  That role has now been secured by Scott Linehan, who has been the team’s play-caller ever since.  Bryant’s numbers have tumbled tremendously as well.

Since 2014, arguably the best season of his career, where he caught 136 balls for 1,320 yards and 16 touchdowns, his production has taken a steady nose-dive.

In 2015, he had 72 receptions for 401 yards (three touchdowns), in 2016, he had 50 receptions for 796 yards (eight touchdowns) and in 2017, he caught 69 balls for 838 yards and six touchdowns.  He was targeted 72, 96 and 132 times respectively in each season.

One can certainly make the case that the game plan certainly hasn’t been necessarily tailored to Bryant’s strengths by Linehan. But he was targeted just as much this past season as 2014 — he had 136 targets back then — and the numbers still didn’t yield what they were of yesteryear.

Could the Cowboys be the masterminds of an evil plot to institute a game plan to sabotage his effectiveness so that they wouldn’t have to pay his inflated salary?  I doubt it because if he earned it, he be getting paid accordingly for it.

Bryant has publicly let it be known that there was a sense of mutiny among some his teammates that forced his ouster from the team.  Bryant has a ton of swag and I’m positive it rubbed a lot of those guys the wrong way.  And be honest, the best spot for Dez is with the Cowboys but because of the rift, he’s now looking for another home to set up shop.

As much as media personalities such as Tim Cowlishaw talk about his ability to not be a team player, there are other individuals such as Alfred Morris — a former teammate — who provide a complete and utter rebuttal to the notion that he’s not.

The Houston Texans’ wide receiving corps is solid — not great — as it is but there are many cases made that it could be better with the addition of a talent of Bryant’s caliber.  DeAndre Hopkins is the anchor to the receiving game along with supporting cast members in Will Fuller, Braxton Miller and Bruce Ellington.

Guys like Tyrann Mathieu, Aaron Colvin and DeAndre Hopkins have made it no secret of their desire to have him team up with the Texans but will it actually happen?

I think not.

I’m not sure what could be on the mind of Brian Gaine and Bill O’Brien but I’m positive that they

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feel that either he’s going to cost too much money or that he could be a distraction with his sometimes diva-ish actions that he has displayed over the years with his former team.

Plus, Bryant has signaled that he wants to stay in the NFC East, ensuring he gets to see the Cowboys twice a season, obviously to prove them wrong from cutting him the roster.

But who knows?  They may actually be considering the move. The Houston Texans can afford him as they have just a tad over $30 million to spend in cap space but those monies have to be allocated carefully as they’ll still have other minute expenses to incur — such as signing their 2018 draft picks — before the start of the season.

The recent singing of Mathieu, who has a history of brushes with the law goes to show a new era has begun in H-Town, meaning that they’ll overlook some of the mistakes a player has made in the past and focus on what they’re doing now.

Bryant also alluded to in an interview that he was willing to take a pay cut to re-sign with the Cowboys but he was released anyway.  As much as I feel that there’s a calculated risk with signing Bryant at this stage in his career and with his emotional fit that he’d have in the locker room, I’m walking back my previous stance and would give him a shot with this team if the price were right for him.

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I’d like to give him a one-year, low-risk deal, laced with incentives and if he likes it here, then it’s possible the team could look into resigning him.  It’s an interesting vision so we’ll see how it goes.

But who are we kidding?  IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

Go Houston Texans.