After hosting free agent wide receiver Brandon Marshall for a visit, it became clear the Seattle Seahawks are potentially interested in bringing in a veteran receiver for quarterback Russell Wilson to target.
Considering the relative inexperience outside of Doug Baldwin and the oft-inconsistent Tyler Lockett, this could be an understandable desire. Despite a potential need — and analysts suggesting a decent fit— there is one available marquee free agent receiver who the Seahawks should avoid at all costs: former Dallas Cowboy Dez Bryant.
Once considered a near-unstoppable force on the perimeter, Bryant has become a shell of himself. After a career year in 2014 in which he caught 88 passes for 1,320 yards and 16 touchdowns, Bryant has been on the decline.
In the last three seasons, Bryant failed to eclipse 1,000 yards receiving, 69 catches or eight touchdowns. Admittedly decent numbers, yet hardly deserving of the $45 million Dallas paid him during that span.
The truth about Bryant is that he was never truly an elite route runner or pure pass-catcher. Bryant used his explosive athleticism and dominant size to abuse defensive backs around the league.
However, last season Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott had a passer rating of 80.6 when targeting Bryant and a passer rating of 113 when targeting all his other receivers through the first eight games. This was with Ezekiel Elliott playing, along with a fully healthy offensive line. With his speed starting to go, Bryant is no longer winning the matchups he once did.
Slowly diminishing statistics, and the fact Bryant is a headcase in the locker room, make him not worth the trouble.
Bryant is a needy receiver, demanding constant attention from the quarterback — sometimes to the detriment of the team. Take, for example, Seattle’s late December showdown with the Cowboys last season.
Bryant was not being used early and started a scene on the Dallas sideline with temper tantrums. When Prescott finally targeted Bryant, he immediately fumbled his first reception of the game away to Seattle.
Later, once he and the Dallas offense were clearly out of rhythm, a Prescott pass bounced directly off the hands of a frustrated Bryant and into the waiting arms of Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright. The Seahawks turned the turnovers into 14 points in their 21-12 victory over Dallas.
Not to mention, Bryant turned down a multi-year offer from the Baltimore Ravens in pursuit of a one-year, “prove-it” deal to cash out big time the following season. With that in mind, it’s clear Bryant would be in it only for himself if Seattle signed him.
Russell Wilson is a strong leader on the Seahawks offense, but he and the rest of the team do not need to deal with yet another malcontent receiver demanding attention. They already went through that song and dance in 2014 with Percy Harvin.