“Right now,” apparently, were the operative words. Less than three months later, the former Dallas Cowboys star wide receiver seems to be prepping for re-entry into the league (that, or he just likes catching passes on film).
Taking to Twitter, Bryant shared multiple workout videos over the last week that feature the 31-year-old (in November) running routes, snagging balls, and engaging in exercises with noted receivers coach David Robinson, who’s instructed the likes of Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders.
Bryant appears close to fully recovered from the Achilles’ tendon injury he suffered in 2018, one day after signing a free-agent contract with the New Orleans Saints. He’s been out of the league since, and a potential return hinges on his medicals.
This aligns with what Bryant told NFL Network’s Jane Slater in August, that he’s circling mid-October to begin talking shop with any interested parties.
“I’m way better than I was before I went to the Saints last year,” he said. “Mid-October is when I’m going to be trying to get back in the league.”
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Dez Detailed ‘Unfair’ Cowboys Release
As it pertained to last year’s split from Dallas, Bryant spilled all the beans. Appearing last month on the ThomaHawk Show, a podcast hosted by former NFLers Joe Thomas and Andrew Hawkins, the legendary Cowboys wideout gave a brutally honest explanation on why he’s no longer throwing up the X in silver and blue.
To hear Bryant tell it, his messy breakup with Jerry Jones affected him so deeply, it contributed to the three-time Pro Bowler’s decision to rebuff a post-Cowboys offer from the Baltimore Ravens.
“I wasn’t in the right state of mind to even be trying to play football. I didn’t like how my relationship ended with the Dallas Cowboys,” he said. “I felt like a lot of things went on in that organization that wasn’t fair. I think it was a lot of political stuff that was going on. I’m the type of guy that voices my opinion, but I do all of the research before I voice my opinion. I just felt like it was too strong. It might have rubbed some of the guys the wrong way, but if they did their research, they would see that it does make sense. It was just one of those things — my opinion versus theirs — and it was: should we have him here or should we not have him here? I was voted that I shouldn’t be there. It kind of bothered me, because I actually felt like I really stood for those guys, I really cared for those guys, especially the rookie guys that came in. A lot of guys into the hazing, I was never into that. I would like a rookie to come in and damn near feel like a vet. I felt like I had done a great job with amping guys on the field and off the field. It was real genuine things. That would be the most disturbing part for me, not being there, because I took that serious more than I feel like any guy inside of that locker room.”
After eight seasons, over 7,400 receiving yards and 73 touchdowns with the organization, Bryant was dumped by Dallas in April 2018, ending an era of overwhelming if controversial dominance.
Curtain Pulled on Relationship with Jerry
Bridges weren’t necessarily burned, and Bryant indicates there’s little ill will, but he’d stop short of describing Cowboys owner Jerry Jones as a close, personal friend. The two have spoken sparingly since Bryant’s departure from Big D, and the conversations they did have were formal, at best.
“He reached out to me when I tore my Achilles. That was about it,” Bryant said on the podcast. “I’ll see him at some events going on at the stadium, we’ll have a nice conversation. I don’t think anything was personal between me and him.
He added: “The relationship with me and Mr. Jones, I feel like it’s been … you know, whatever. I don’t think it’s bad blood, I’ll say that.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL