It was a delicious tidbit, an intriguing possibility that came from a guy who would seem to have inside knowledge. But, at least for now, former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant reportedly isn’t going to be catching passes from Aaron Rodgers.
Jason Witten, Bryant’s teammate for eight seasons in Dallas, said the receiver, released by the Cowboys in April, is going to have “some great opportunities” and speculated that he might end up in Green Bay.
“[Bryant’s] motivated,” Witten, who retired to join ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” said during a podcast with ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “He’s motivated, and I think he’s going to end up going to the Green Bay Packers. I think that’s a great spot for him.”
Being targeted by Rodgers would be a great spot for anyone, actually.
“Aaron Rodgers, he throws that back-shoulder throw so well,” Witten said. “And Dez has great chemistry with a good quarterback that can put the ball wherever he wants. I still believe Dez can high-point the football as good as any other wide receiver in the National Football League. So you partner him up with Jimmy Graham and Aaron Rodgers, I think that offense could put up a lot of points. … I look for [Bryant] to go there and really help them take the next step and get back on a playoff run.”
Except, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, it isn’t happening even if signing Bryant, whose “catch” was so famously ruled a “non-catch” during a playoff game against the Packers, might bring the story full circle. Now, as Rapoport points out, it still may happen, but “nothing is imminent.”
The Packers drafted wide receivers in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds, which means signing a guy like Bryant became less imperative. Better to go young and cheap(er) with J’Mon Moore, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown as competitors for Rodgers’s third receiving option behind Davante Adams, Randall Cobb and, of course, Graham, who was signed after the departure of Jordy Nelson.
So, for now, there are no takers for Bryant, who turned down the Baltimore Ravens last month, and that may not be changing anytime soon. He’ll turn 30 this fall, and his production has fallen off some over the past few years. He reportedly prefers a one-year deal, which led him to say no to the Ravens. He’s also picky about his quarterback, which would make Rodgers an obvious choice over Joe Flacco.
On Tuesday night, he tweeted that he didn’t regret turning down the Ravens, responding to one commenter: “Nope not 1 bit and very appreciative for the offer. .. what’s crazy is how reports like this will try to tarnish someone character. … the slight jab saying it’s not easy to get along with. I thought the media would give up by now with betraying me as something that I’m not.”
Nor is he considering retirement.
He added that he is not “media driven,” but his combustible personality, one that raises a dreaded “D” word in coaches who are notoriously averse to distractions, might be a compelling reason for teams to pass on him. For now.
“It is certainly visible to anyone who watches our games, watches our sideline, [that] Dez is certainly a fiery guy who plays with a lot of emotion both on and off the field,” Stephen Jones, the Cowboys’ executive vice president, admitted in January. “Sometimes that can be a distraction. It can be a distraction for Dez. It can be a distraction for other teammates.”
So there are no takers in Green Bay or elsewhere. For now.
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