New Orleans Saints: Why trade for WR when Dez Bryant is available?
Why should the New Orleans Saints trade for a wide receiver when they could just sign former All-Pro Dez Bryant?
The New Orleans Saints have entered their bye week after crushing the Arizona Cardinals 31-9, highlighted by the return of future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees.
Brees dissected the Cardinals defense by completing 34 of 43 passes (an astounding completion percentage of 79 percent on the day) and throwing for 373 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Wide receiver Michael Thomas caught 11 passes for 112 yards and a score, on pace to break Hall of Fame wide receiver Marvin Harrison‘s record of 143 receptions in a single season (2002).
However, Thomas’s production has somewhat overshadowed the Saints’ lack of wide receiver depth. Besides Thomas, other wideouts on the active roster are Ted Ginn Jr., Austin Carr, Tre’Quan Smith, Deonte Harris, and Krishawn Hogan.
Simply put, not much has happened across the board.
For instance, Ginn Jr. has posted 20 receptions for 296 yards and a touchdown, while the other receivers have no touchdowns outside of Thomas.
Harris scored on a 53-yard punt return touchdown in a 33-27 Week 3 win against the Seattle Seahawks, but he has not gotten many offensive snaps.
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It’s debatable that quarterback Taysom Hill or Ginn Jr. is the second or third wide receiver for Brees, not counting running backs Latavius Murray and Alvin Kamara.
So, with this limited group of wide receivers for head coach Sean Payton, he may dial up a plan he executed last November.
On Nov 7. 2018, after the New Orleans Saints knocked off the Los Angeles Rams in Week 9 45-35, New Orleans picked up free-agent wide receiver Dez Bryant and signed him to a one-year contract.
This negotiation occurred after working out Bryant and fellow free-agent wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who the Saints signed after Bryant’s Achilles injury.
The Saints released Marshall about a month after signing him, and Bryant became a free agent once again after the 2018 season ended.
In 2019, Bryant spent the year rehabbing the injury and running routes to try and get back into football shape. In an interview with NFL Network’s Jane Slater, Bryant said he aimed to return to playing football in mid-October, almost one calendar year after tearing his Achilles.
In fact, Bryant hinted about a return to the Saints on Twitter after viewing a post from Who Dat Dish on Oct. 13, 2019.
That retweet from Bryant indicates that he has a possible return to the Big Easy in the works, and Bryant also said that the Saints will be the first team he calls for a chance to come back and play.
A Bryant signing is the best scenario for Bryant and the Saints, as New Orleans can acquire a potentially valuable pass catcher for a discount and Bryant can have his chance to showcase his skills and try to win a Super Bowl ring.
Flashier deals like a trade for Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green or New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson before the Oct. 29 trade deadline may sound more enticing, by why not take a chance for free?
Signing Bryant would do wonders in improving the Saints’ wide receiving corps and give the team an extra offensive boost. Plus, Bryant can create more mismatches for other weapons like Kamara and Thomas, especially in the red zone.
So as the bye week rolls along, Payton can use the extra time to bring Bryant back into the building and the medical team can fully assess his Achilles.
And if all goes well, Bryant can attempt to make good on its initial signing last season and officially don the Black and Gold uniform in a regular-season game.
There is much to look forward to during the second half of the regular season in New Orleans, but even one free agent or trade acquisition for a playoff-bound team can make all the difference in putting itself over the top.