Dez Bryant is returning to the NFL. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Baltimore Ravens are planning to sign the former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver to their practice squad if his workout goes well, and he passes a physical. The Ravens showed interest in him before the season began as he worked out for the team in August.
Bryant didn't sign with the Ravens after his initial workout, but neither side ruled out a deal later on, according to Rapoport and Mike Garofolo of the NFL Network. The Ravens are currently 5-1 on the season but a looking to add more depth to the wide receiver position. The team's leading receiver is Marquise Brown who has 376 yards and one touchdown on 26 receptions. Tight end Mark Andrews has been the top-scoring threat with five touchdown receptions in six games.
The #Ravens plan to sign veteran WR Dez Bryant to the practice squad if his workout goes well and he passes a physical, source said. Baltimore previously worked out Bryant in August, so this is more of a check-in. He should land in Baltimore, finally.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 22, 2020
Bryant hasn't played in an NFL game since the end of the 2017 season. The 31-year old was cut from the Cowboys in April 2018 and signed a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints nine weeks into the 2018 regular season. However, Bryant's season came to an end before it got started as he tore his Achilles tendon two days after signing with the Saints. He did not sign with a team in 2019. Earlier this year, Bryant made a pitch to the Cowboys to rejoin the team.
"Give me the role they gave Witten," Bryant wrote on Twitter (via Sports Illustrated) during NFL Championship Weekend, adding that he's taking "no shot at Witten" with the statement. "Let me play with Zeke (Ezekiel Elliott), (Tony) Pollard, (Michael) Gallup, (Amari) Cooper, (Randall) Cobb, (Blake) Jarwin ..." That didn't happen as the Cowboys drafted CeeDee Lamb in the first round.
Bryant was drafted by the Cowboys in the first round back in 2010 and emerged as one of the top receivers in the early part of the decade. The Oklahoma State alum made his first Pro Bowl in 2013 after catching 93 passes for 1,233 yards and 13 touchdowns. Bryant had a career-year in 2014 after recording 88 receptions for 1,320 yards and an NFL-leading 16 touchdowns, which led to him being named to the All-Pro First Team. In his final season with the Cowboys, Bryant caught 69 passes for 838 yards and six touchdowns.