Dez Bryant is a free agent, and many NFL teams certainly would want to have the gifted wide receiver on their roster.
Bryant is an athletic target with a big body (6-foot-2, 220 pounds) who for eight seasons has been among the best at his position in the NFL. He has three 1,000-yard seasons, led the league in touchdown catches with 16 in 2014 when he was All-Pro and is a four-time Pro Bowler.
So far, however, Bryant is still job hunting. Yet recently, Bryant – when asked on an Instagram post where he’d like to land in 2018, he had a one-word response: “49ers.”
Though he quickly deleted his comment, many across the social media sphere quickly followed up, and Vinnie Iyer of The Sporting News noted the 49ers would have good reasons to sign Bryant. Iyer noted the addition of Byrant – who has a bigger frame than veteran projected starters Marquise Goodwin and Pierre Garcon, would give 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo a terrific red-zone target.
“Bryant can still put ‘em up with the best of them on passes inside the 5-yard line,” wrote Iyer. “San Francisco’s ability to spread the field, horizontally and vertically, plus Garoppolo’s mobility, would set up Bryant to remain a strong short to intermediate target.”
But would signing Bryant fit with what the 49ers are trying to do?
It seems unlikely.
The Niners run a diversified offense under Kyle Shanahan, with a lot of passes to running backs, tight ends and quick wide receivers. San Francisco is eager to get Garcon back from injury and see what Goodwin and second-year man Trent Taylor can do after fine stints with Garoppolo at the end of 2017. Plus, San Francisco drafted a pair of wide receivers in Dante Pettis and Richie James who could add some electricity into the downfield passing game.
The addition of Bryant could produce short-term dividends, but it might come at the expense of playing time and the development of Goodwin, Taylor, Pettis and James.
In the long run, it might be better to pass on Bryant and stay with the group already in place.
Plus, Bryant is reported to be seeking an expensive new contract, possibly for multiple seasons. That money might be better spent elsewhere.