The Dallas Cowboys will be looking to add a new wide receiver to their roster this offseason. Here are several scenarios that could play themselves out.
The Dallas Cowboys are in a position now where they have to think about what the future holds at the wide receiver position. Cowboys superstar, Dez Bryant has battled injuries over the last few seasons and has struggled to stay on the field.
He has been seemingly getting less productive on the field and continues to be the highest paid player on the Cowboys roster. With that in mind, rumors have been swirling that Bryant could be released or traded in the coming weeks and while to some that may be the best direction to go in, others have scoffed at this idea.
Bryant is arguably still a top-tier receiver and even during down years still manages to put up close to double-digit touchdowns. He is still worth quite a bit to some people in the NFL so he could draw quite a bit of attention either via trade interest or on the open market.
With all of that in mind, what is the best course of option for the Dallas Cowboys to take with their wide receiving corps?
Re-sign Dez Bryant, open up cap space, draft a complimentary player:
This is probably the easiest option available to Dallas. Re-signing Dez Bryant may seem like a laughable task to some people but it would actually allow the Cowboys to open up some cap space this season.
Releasing or trading Bryant does not necessarily guarantee this and realistically finding a player of his caliber could take longer than anticipated. Worst comes to worst, the Cowboys could put in an option in the deal that allows them to release Bryant in the near future with limited cap issues.
This would also mean finding a young wide receiver in the draft who could (if needed) step in and make up some of Bryant’s lost production (if that trend continues). Signing a player like Maryland’s D.J. Moore would make a ton of sense and would immediately give Bryant a player who could take some of the coverage off of him.
Extending/re-structuring Bryant’s contract would be the first of several contract restructures that would be necessary to give the Cowboys enough cap room to be active in free agency.
Release Dez Bryant, sign Allen Robinson/Sammy Watkins, draft a future wide receiver(s):
Flat out releasing Bryant would give the Dallas Cowboys a ton of cap space and likely put them in a position to go after a big free agent wide receiver. The players they would likely find themselves in the market for would-be receivers such as Allen Robinson, Sammy Watkins, Allen Hurns, Marqise Lee, Donte Moncrief, John Brown, or Danny Amendola.
Only Robinson really offers wide receiver one upside as the other players on that list are more complimentary wide receivers. The way the Cowboys approach this situation could shine a light into how they view the wide receiver draft prospects as a whole. If they feel comfortable taking a player like Calvin Ridley or even Moore with their first-round selection, they could feel that these guys are franchise players.
The Dallas Cowboys have already met with Ridley formally and could look to target the playmaker at 19. The situation in which the Cowboys release Bryant without recouping any value whatsoever is pretty frighting however this is unlikely to be the case.
Trade Dez Bryant, sign a wide receiver in free agency, draft wide receivers for the future:
This would be the preferable option than just outright releasing him. Bryant would draw more interest than most (if not all) of the wide receiving prospects in the 2018 NFL draft. This means his trade value should be that of a first-round pick if not more.
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Teams like the Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers, Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons, and the Buffalo Bills are all looking for a top-tier wide receiver.
Trading Bryant should be relatively easy as almost half of the NFL sees tremendous value in adding a productive player at his position. Trading Bryant would likely result in an extra first-round pick and quite possibly an additional player or pick.
If the Cowboys were able to trade Bryant, they could potentially sign Allen Robinson, draft a number one wide receiver (and a complimentary player in the later rounds) in addition to other areas of need. Trading Bryant seems like a move that would be done for the future of the franchise not necessarily one that is looking to win a Super Bowl within the next two-three years.