Browns, Bryant meet as sides try to see if there's a future
By TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer
CLEVELAND (AP) — Dez Bryant and the Browns are still in the courtship phase. Their future together is uncertain.
The three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver and his agent, Kim Maile, met with team officials at the Browns’ headquarters in Berea, Ohio, on Thursday. The sides got to know each other better, and they are expected to meet again Friday to discuss a potential contract for Bryant with Cleveland.
Released by Dallas in April after eight seasons, Bryant is looking for a new NFL home and Cleveland, could be the place where he continues a brilliant career that has stalled.
Before meeting with coach Hue Jackson and general manager John Dorsey, Bryant stopped in the studio of the team’s in-house radio show and gave an on-air update of his visit.
“I’m happy to be here, you know excited, you know just trying to work out some things,” Bryant said. “It’s a lovely place.”
When one of the radio hosts observed that Bryant looked wearing orange while he played at Oklahoma State, Bryant said, “Yeah, I did. I’d still look good in the brown. We’ll see.”
The 29-year-old has shown an interest in signing with the Browns, who are looking to add an experienced receiver to their young group which is currently missing former Pro Bowler Josh Gordon, who is away from the team for health reasons.
Bryant has been waiting to latch on with another team since turning down a three-year, $21 million contract offer from the Baltimore Ravens, who may still have interest in him.
The Browns have plenty of room under the salary cap to offer Bryant a multi-year deal. However, the team may opt to sign him to a short-term contract. The Browns also must decide if they’re ready to take on a player who clashed with Cowboys coaches and while very talented can be highly disruptive.
Last week, Dorsey said he had been trying to contact Bryant with no success. After Dorsey reached out to Bryant through the media, Bryant posted on Twitter that he intended to visit the Browns.
“For real . I wouldn’t mind playing for the browns … I just want to be right first,” Bryant wrote.
Several Cleveland players, including starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor and receiver Jarvis Landry, have expressed they would love Bryant to join them.
“That would be awesome,” Taylor said following Cleveland’s exhibition opener. “We know what type of talent Dez brings to the football field. He’s been a very, very good player in his time throughout this league, and he adds talent to the wide receiver room. I hope it can get done, but that’s up to management. I definitely think he could help this team.”
Landry, a three-time Pro Bowler who is close to Bryant, said this week he would love to be teammates with him.
“We’re just trying to figure out if he wants to be here,” Landry said. “Then obviously we’re open arms, and we’d love to have him. He’d be a great addition to our team and our offense for sure. You look at the plays he’s making down the field, underneath. He can really do it all, given the opportunities.”
On Wednesday, offensive coordinator Todd Haley said he’s excited about Cleveland’s group of receivers, which includes Landry, rookie Antonio Callaway, the improved Rashard Higgins and undrafted first-year free agent C.J. Board.
“I’m excited about these young guys. I really am,” Haley said. “I mean, that being said, if guys are willing to come in here and guys with the pedigrees and resumes like somebody like (Bryant), I mean, of course, we’re going to accept him and coach the heck out of him. If Dez Bryant, who obviously has been a good player in this league, is in that mix, he’s going to be coached like everybody else.
“I tell everybody that shows up here we don’t care about what means you get here, if you’re willing to put your hand in the pile and work and be part of moving forward and having success, I’m all for it.”
Bryant has been one of the NFL’s top deep threats for years. He has amassed 531 catches for 7,459 yards and 73 touchdowns.
Last season, Bryant caught 69 passes for 838 yards and six TDs.
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