The Ravens look like a solid landing spot for Dez Bryant, but will he let his vendetta against Cowboys blind him?
The Dallas Cowboys, as was inevitable as long as he would not take a pay cut, released Dez Bryant last Friday. Despite the late release date, a case can be made for a lot of teams to have interest. The Baltimore Ravens were immediately mentioned, and Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun has reported they are indeed interested in the mercurial wide receiver.
Bryant immediately deflected blame for Dallas’ decision to release him, suggesting prominent players were behind it. He also said he wants to play in the NFC East, in order to play the Cowboys twice, specifically citing how he took the move to cut him personally.
Outside of the NFC East, a look at the rest of Dallas’ schedule could point to potential landing spots for Bryant. The Ravens are not on the Cowboys’ slate this year, and they may not have the cap space (just shy of $10.2 million, via Over The Cap) to pay Bryant along the lines he’s probably looking for from a new team.
The Ravens added Michael Crabtree and John Brown in free agency, but adding another wide receiver has to be on the radar. First-round bust Breshad Perriman can’t be counted on, and Chris Moore has 25 receptions in two NFL seasons.
Baltimore has proven to be a good landing spot for older wide receivers in the past. Derrick Mason had a nice second act from 2007-2009, his age 33, 34 and 35 seasons, averaging 85 catches per season with over 1,000 yards in all three campaigns. Anquan Boldin wasn’t quite as good over his own three seasons with the Ravens (2010-2012), but he topped 60 receptions twice and averaged 882 yards per season.
Bryant, heading toward his 30th birthday (Nov. 4) and looking like a diminished receiver over the last couple seasons, should see the Ravens as an ideal spot. They will be in the mix for a playoff spot, and there will be an opportunity to produce well on an one-year, “prove-it”-type deal. But as is often the case with wide receivers, ego will probably drive him to another team with a personal desire to stick it to the Cowboys further fostering a bad fit.