Talent evaluation happens 365 days a year in the NFL, even in the regular season after the trade deadline when teams are seemingly locked in with their 53-man rosters.
Former Dallas Cowboys All-Pro receiver Dez Bryant tweeted recently that he will be reaching out to teams regarding a possible return to the NFL. According to CBS Sports’ Patrik Walker, the Texans are the number one logical landing spot for Bryant.
Bryant is a Lufkin, Texas, native who makes it known at every turn just how much he loves his home state, but his adoration isn’t exclusive to North Texas. His hometown is actually an hour closer to Houston than it is to Dallas, and that’s not the only reason this might be a marriage made in heaven. The Texans sit atop the AFC South but just barely, and giving Deshaun Watson another big, strong target to throw the ball to can only help their chances of battling other contenders in the AFC. Watson has worked his magic to an MVP-caliber level in 2019, but the team’s wide receiver corps has battled injury.
While it is true that the Texans’ receiving corps is injury plagued with Kenny Stills missing two games with a hamstring and ankle injury and Will Fuller sidelined since the Week 7 encounter with the Indianapolis Colts, and then the mystery surrounding Keke Coutee’s lack of playing time in two games, Bryant has to make a schematic fit for the Texans.
Going back to last season, the Texans traded with the Denver Broncos for wideout Demaryius Thomas at the trade deadline. While it seemed the Texans were reaching because of a recent ACL injury to Fuller, Thomas also had some experience with the Patriots’ offense in a way through Josh McDaniels, who was his coach his rookie season. McDaniels had come over from New England, where Bill O’Brien had taken over as the offensive coordinator.
Even in the case of Stills, he had spent the offseason in new Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea’s system, enough that the Texans had some indication as to whether or not he would work in their system.
Bryant has exclusively been in Jason Garrett’s Ernie Zampese-style offense that is a descendant of Don Coryell’s offense. The Patriots have long been an Erhardt-Perkins system under Bill Belichick since 2000.
It would make sense from an emotional point of view for Bryant to play ball at NRG Stadium, just 100 miles south of his hometown of Lufkin. However, from a football standpoint, it may not make much sense right now for Houston.