Dave Gettleman may have been caught off guard when asked, but the New York Giants general manager did not deny the possibility of signing former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant while speaking during his pre-draft press conference on Thursday.
During the press conference, reports broke on Twitter about the Giants parting ways with veteran wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Gettleman was asked about the release and confirmed that Marshall had been waived with a “failed physical” designation.
The very next question was about New York’s potential interest in Bryant, a free agent who has not been shy about his desire to stay in the NFC East so he can face his former team twice a year. Gentleman cracked a wide smile at the question, chuckled then answered.
“I have interest in everybody,” Gettleman said. “We do our film work, and you never know.”
Gettleman and the Giants may be trying to hide their interest in Bryant, but the receiver has been very open about his desire to come to New York. In fact, he recently sat down with Mike Fisher of 247Sports to discuss that exact topic.
“The Giants,” Bryant told Fisher, “got a helluva defense, they’re going to pay OBJ (fellow wideout and pal Odell Beckham Jr.), so coming back. Playing with him, Sterling (Shepard) … the tight end (Evan Engram), (QB Eli) Manning? Crazy. … They draft (Penn State running back Saquan Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick)? That’d be crazy!”
Interesting, Bryant mentioned just about everybody except Marshall in those comments…
Bryant, 29, is a former first-round draft pick (24th overall, 2010) and the Cowboys’ all-time leader for touchdown receptions (73). Dallas made the controversial decision to cut him last week, saving the team just over $8 million against the salary cap.
Bryant has been to the Pro Bowl three of the past five seasons, but he has not eclipsed 1,000 yards or posted double-digit touchdowns since his 2014 All-Pro campaign. That was also the last season Bryant played with a healthy Tony Romo at quarterback.
One of the biggest reasons behind Bryant’s release was his inability to develop a chemistry with young Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. That would not be an issue in New York, as the Giants have a veteran quarterback in Eli Manning who has made connections with dozens of pass catchers over the years.
Marshall turned out to be a total bust of a free-agency signing, playing in only five games and completing his Giants tenure with a measly 18 catches for 154 yards. Acquiring Bryant would give Manning another dangerous weapon in his passing arsenal and help Giants fans wash the taste of the awful Marshall signing out of their mouths.