Dez Bryant’s last return to the NFL didn’t go so well, but the long-time Dallas Cowboy and one-time Saint is hoping he doesn’t have to call it a career.
Bryant’s much-hyped signing last season in New Orleans was cut short by an Achilles injury on his second day of practice and he’s been rehabbing the injury since.
But if a report from Josina Anderson of ESPN is to be believed, Bryant is on the comeback trail and he has suitors.
“No,” Anderson said on Twitter Monday when if Bryant’s NFL prospects were finished. “Last I heard he was looking stronger on his 10 (to) 15 (yard) bursts (and) looking more comfortable with his curl (and) intermediate routes when he has to stop and plant with no pain on the Achilles during that motion. I know a few NFL teams have been reaching out inquiring (about) his progress.”
Bryant said as much in a response to a fan on Twitter, but did note he has some interest that could take him away from the game if an opportunity does not manifest.
“Of course I’m interested in playing… but to be brutally honest I’m dealing with something that’s more beneficial to my life,” Bryant tweeted in response. “I stand strong on “I’m more than the athlete. I’m a father and entrepreneur that need way more recognition towards that matter.”
Bryant has been documenting his journey back and posted a video of himself running for the first time since the injury in May.
It’s a step in a right direction for the 6-foot-2, 30-year-old pass-catcher.
However, it seems unlikely that Bryant will be back with the Saints and could have to wait and see if a spot opens up somewhere due to injury.
“I wouldn’t be able to forecast the future,” Payton said when the free agency signing period began in March.
Bryant had a monster stretch from 2012-14 with the Cowboys, with three consecutive 1,000-yard plus and double-digit touchdown seasons. He hasn’t hit either of those benchmarks since.
Bryant left the Cowboys with a team-record 73 touchdown receptions to go with 531 catches for 7,459 yards in 113 games.
It was a tough divorce when Bryant left the only team he had known in the NFL, but the team maintained that his “fiery” personality was no longer worth the headache with his lack of production.
“The other thing that we all see, and it is certainly visible to anyone who watches our games, watches our sideline, is Dez is certainly a fiery guy who plays with a lot of emotion both on and off the field,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said after the move. “Sometimes that can be a distraction. It can be a distraction for Dez, it can be a distraction for other teammates. And we just have to really get our hands around when you put all the full body of work together where that’s headed.”
Let’s just say, among all the teams in the league, the Cowboys seem the least likely to entertain the idea of Dez. After being cut by the Cowboys, Bryant went on a Twitter tirade burning that bridge to a crisp.
“If I didn’t have my edge I got it now,” the three-time Pro Bowler wrote. “I’m sorry they got to feel me it’s personal… it’s very personal.”