The Cleveland Browns may not be in such a rush to sign free agent wide receiver Dez Bryant as they were only a few short days ago, thanks to the announcement that wide receiver Josh Gordon is set to return to the team.
According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, “Bryant is no longer on the front burner” for the Browns, as Gordon’s return is certainly a boost to the offense, and the receiver corps.
If a deal with the Browns falls through this will mark the second time that Bryant has flubbed a potential deal, since his release from the Dallas Cowboys earlier this year.
Bryant turned down a lucrative long-term contract from the Baltimore Ravens shortly after his release, believing that he could fetch a better contract, from a more competitive team, on the open free agent market, but that decision proved to be foolish.
Bryant approached the Browns opportunity with the same arrogance, dragging his feet on meeting with them, despite weeks of interest, and reportedly not returning the phone calls from Browns’ general manager John Dorsey, before finally agreeing to come in for a visit.
Had Bryant not dragged his feet, he may have been able to land a solid deal prior to Gordon’s announcement.
Now, the Browns aren’t in a position of great need, which will likely allow them to be more cautious in their negotiations with Bryant, and also give them the confidence to walk away from a deal if it doesn’t meet their liking.
As for Gordon, he made the following announcement on Saturday, regarding his return to the team:
— Flash Gordon (@JOSH_GORDONXII) August 18, 2018
The Browns organization also released a statement on Gordon’s return:
“First off, we are pleased for Josh,” general manager John Dorsey said in a statement, per NFL.com’s Kevin Patra. “His overall health and well-being is what is most important. We commend Josh for his hard work, commitment and focus on becoming the best version of himself. We are glad Josh has reached a point where he can return to our organization, be in our building and be around his teammates.”
Bryant heading to the Browns may be a bit up in the air now, but Cleveland is looking like a team on the rise and it will be interesting to see how the betting lines in the United States, as well as popular UK betting sites, project the Browns seasons to go, especially if they end up adding Bryant to the mix.