I wrote a bit yesterday about the Eagles’ receiver situation as they continue to work out free agents and shuffle guys in and out of the practice squad.
Sure enough, like clockwork, they made another roster move this morning, signing Kamar Aiken and releasing Markus Wheaton. Wheaton was a camp body who did not make the 53-man roster but was added as back-end depth when Mack Hollins went on injured reserve last week. Aiken was also a camp guy.
Inevitably, Dez Bryant’s name is popping up on Eagles Twitter, and while it’s probably pointless to spend too much time on him, it’s at least worth addressing.
I think the obvious path here is to do nothing at all. You wait for Alshon Jeffery to return, then Carson Wentz assumes the starting QB role and you’ve got the group of Jeffery, Wentz, Nelson Agholor, and Mike Wallace chopping up opposing defenses. A lot of what the Eagles are doing now is just moving bodies around until they settle on something that gets them through the first few weeks. They obviously are not 100% convinced with what they have in DeAndre Carter and Shelton Gibson.
The thing with Dez is that he’s not coming here for cheap. The Eagles are up against the cap already and I can’t imagine Bryant comes in on a one-year “prove it” deal. I’m sure he’d love to play the Cowboys twice this season and get some revenge on Jason Garrett and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan.
Strangely enough, Dez actually hung out with Cowboys brass last night, taking in a Beyonce and Jay Z show at AT&T Stadium alongside Jerry Jones:
— mike fisher ✭ (@fishsports) September 12, 2018
In a bit of unrelated news, Jay Z’s best album was Volume 2 and he went sharply downhill after putting out bangers like “Jigga What, Jigga Who” and “If I Should Die.”
But Dez’s presence with Jones is weird to me, since he spent the whole weekend tweeting about his former team:
— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) September 10, 2018
Apparently the problem was more with the coaching staff, and less about Jerry.
Anyway, Dez is 29 years old and heading into his 9th season. His numbers are down from the Pro Bowl years he had in 2013, 2014, and 2016, and he topped out last year at 838 yards and 6 touchdowns. This would have been year four of a five year, $70 million contract he signed with Dallas in 2015.
So it doesn’t make sense for money reasons, first. Jeffery is due $11 million next season and Agholor $9 million. Wentz needs to be paid sooner rather than later. Howie Roseman is gonna have a lot of work to do next spring.
Second, does Mike Wallace sit on the bench? No. Does Jeffery or Agholor take on a reduced role? No. You don’t need a top receiver, you need a WR4 who can plug the gap until Jeffery and Hollins return.
Beyond that, the warning flags have always been there. Dez has thrown his share of tantrums in the past and forgot to log into his burner account last night. He couldn’t come to an agreement with the Browns. The Patriots, desperate for a receiver, didn’t even roll the dice on him.
Doug Gottlieb, who rarely makes good points, makes a great one here:
If you don’t think Dez Bryant is toxic, consider this. He tweeted his interest in the #Patriots, who in turn signed Corey Coleman, who has been traded by the #Browns and cut by the #Bills in the last month
— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) September 11, 2018
There are multiple reasons why Dez Bryant doesn’t have a team. The Eagles don’t need him and shouldn’t even entertain the possibility.
That’s about it.
I promised I wouldn’t waste too much time on Dez, but the story is written and held under 600 words.