Dez Bryant's gamble pays off: Signs with Super Bowl-contending Saints

Earlier this year, former Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant turned down a three-year, $21 million contract offer from the Baltimore Ravens, and insisted he didn’t regret it.

Bryant wanted a one-year deal, a prove-it type of pact that would let him show the league that he still has plenty left and allow him to become a free agent again in 2019.

Some might question the approach, but given that Baltimore is currently struggling and it seems clear John Harbaugh is coaching for his job, maybe it was a sound decision.

Given where Bryant has ended up, it seems like it was.

Bryant and Saints complete deal

On field again: Dez Bryant is joining the New Orleans Saints, agreeing to a contract through the rest of this season. (AP)
On field again: Dez Bryant is joining the New Orleans Saints, agreeing to a contract through the rest of this season. (AP)

Via multiple reports, Bryant and the New Orleans Saints have agreed to a one-year deal that lands the three-time Pro Bowler in New Orleans for the rest of the season.

Bryant seemingly confirmed the news on Twitter, writing “#ThrowuptheX,” his way of celebrating touchdowns, with a tweet of the news from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Bryant will officially sign his contract on Thursday, when he goes to New Orleans.

New Orleans is among Super Bowl favorites

While Dallas, the team that released him earlier this year, is struggling, and the Ravens could be headed for another playoff-less season as well, New Orleans is trending upward.

Las Vegas has the Saints among the favorites for Super Bowl LIII, and while they’re currently second in the NFC overall, should they and the Los Angeles Rams finish with the same record, the Saints would have the upper hand in the seedings after their thrilling win over the Rams on Sunday.

Bryant went to the playoffs just twice over the first eight years of his career, all with the Cowboys, and with New Orleans at 7-1, he’s in good position to get there again.

Saints needed receiver depth

New Orleans coach Sean Payton acknowledged to reporters on Wednesday that the team had worked out some receivers on Tuesday, including Bryant, but said it wasn’t an indictment on the team’s other receivers.

However, the Saints needed a No. 2 wideout. Michael Thomas has been outstanding, with 70 catches through eight games, but the Saints’ next leading pass-catcher is running back Alvin Kamara, with 51, and 37-year-old tight end Ben Watson has 26.

Ted Ginn was placed on injured reserve last month with a knee injury, though he is a candidate to return before the postseason.

So enter Bryant, who gets to play with one of the game’s best quarterbacks in Drew Brees, with one of the league’s most creative coaches in Payton, and on an explosive, high-performing team. And he apparently took less money for the perfect situation.

It seems unlikely Bryant will play on Sunday as the Saints play in Cincinnati, but on Nov. 18 they host the Eagles. And on Nov. 29, New Orleans plays at Dallas.

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