Former All-Pro Wide Receiver Dez Bryant has announced his intent to return to the NFL in the coming weeks but the Pittsburgh Steelers should stay far away.
For a three-year stretch in the early-to-mid 2010s, Dez Bryant was one of the best, if not the best receivers in the NFL. From 2012-14, Bryant put up 3935 receiving yards and 38 touchdowns. Rarely in NFL history had the type of physical dominance that Bryant had, and it showed up in a big way.
However, after a career-best season in 2014, things started to fall apart for the former All-Pro. Between injuries and an inability to get on the same page as Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, Bryant became expendable in Dallas before landing with the New Orleans Saints last season. Unfortunately, a torn Achilles ruined Bryant’s chance to show he still has something left in the tank. That said, he isn’t giving up on playing in the NFL, announcing on Wednesday that he would attempt to contact teams in the coming weeks. Naturally, the Pittsburgh Steelers have come up as a potential landing spot, but should Pittsburgh actually pursue the outspoken receiver?
The short answer is no. Sure, the Steelers could use a receiver to take the pressure off JuJu Smith-Schuster, but Bryant isn’t the answer. For proof, just take a look at his last two seasons in Dallas. Bryant looked like a shell of his former self, struggling to get separation from defenders and failing to fit into Dallas’ new-look offense with Prescott at the helm. Considering he was already starting to decline physically back in 2017, it’s hard to believe things improved after that devastating Achilles tear.
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There is also the matter of Bryant’s outspoken nature and the Steelers’ recent history with receivers that like to speak their minds. That’s not to say Bryant is as disruptive as Antonio Brown is, but the Steelers are trying to build a new culture and it’s one the Bryant may not fit into. Not to mention, the young receivers on the team have started to hit their stride lately. With guys like James Washington and Diontae Johnson finally finding their groove, it wouldn’t make sense to mess with that development by adding another receiver.
It’s always tempting when a former All-Pro talent is available on the free-agent market, but when it comes to Dez Bryant, the Pittsburgh Steelers should stay far away. Between his declining skills, questionable locker room fit and recent injuries Bryant isn’t a fit for Pittsburgh. Let’s hope the team feels the same way.