Dez Bryant has been released by the Dallas Cowboys.
Pro Football Talk (PFT) says the decision to dump Bryant makes sense for the Cowboys because he was due to make $12.5 million next season, and his production hasn't been near the level it was before he signed a five-year, $70 million contract in 2015.
PFT doesn't think Bryant will get anywhere near $12.5 million wherever he signs as a free agent, so the obvious question has to be asked: should the Vikings consider signing Bryant at a discounted price?
Before we answer that, consider a couple of things:
- Bryant walked out the door saying he'll see the Cowboys twice this year, according to a Cowboys team reporter. That would indicate that he's signing with a team in the NFC East (the Eagles?).
- Saints head coach Sean Payton immediately started following Bryant on Twitter after news of Bryant's release, so interest from around the league will likely be everywhere.
Imagine how nasty the Eagles will be with Dez Bryant. Remember, that's the same offense that torched the Vikings and Patriots in the playoffs, and they're getting MVP candidate Carson Wentz back from an ACL.
The Eagles or Saints, who nearly beat Minnesota in the playoffs, would make the NFC even more difficult to navigate next season.
Minnesota has about $13 million left in cap space, according to Spotrac, but they might need it to sign 2019 free agents Stefon Diggs, Danielle Hunter, Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks.
Bryant hasn't had a 1,000-yard season since 2014, but he's still just 29 years old and his 2017 wasn't bad: 69 receptions for 838 yards and 6 touchdowns.
He's also a big-bodied red zone threat the Vikings have lacked for years.
Imagine Kirk Cousins throwing the ball to Bryant, Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Kendall Wright and tight end Kyle Rudolph. It'd be a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses.
Another team the Vikings have to worry about in the NFC is the Los Angeles Rams, who have beefed up both sides of the ball by adding top-shelf cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters, in addition to defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and wide receiver Brandin Cooks.
Bryant's attitude will be concerning wherever he signs, but his talents are definitely going to make whoever he signs with more dangerous.