Baltimore Ravens S Eric Weddle lobbying for Dez Bryant signing

By The Sports Xchange  |  April 17, 2018 at 6:02 PM
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Baltimore Ravens safety Eric Weddle threw his hat in the ring in a bid to recruit free-agent wide receiver Dez Bryant.

Weddle told reporters on Tuesday that he reached out to Bryant, who was released by the Dallas Cowboys last week. Weddle did not divulge if the three-time Pro Bowl wideout responded to his overture.

"Dez is an amazing player, passionate, competitive, everything you want in a teammate," Weddle said. "For a guy like that who just came off a tough situation, you just want what's best for him and where he feels comfortable. If we have a shot at him, we'll see what happens."

Weddle is no stranger to the recruiting game. Last season, the 33-year-old lured fellow safety Tony Jefferson and running back Danny Woodhead to Baltimore.

Quarterback Joe Flacco embraced the idea of adding Bryant to a wide receiver mix that has seen the additions of Michael Crabtree and John Brown in free agency.

"He's another physical, strong-to-the-ball type guy that, as a quarterback, he's nice to have," Flacco said. "I got used to throwing to a guy like that when Anquan [Boldin] was here. He was a guy, even if he didn't have that separation, you got used to throwing him the ball and having trust that he was going to get it. At the end of the day, to win big games you have to have guys who can do that."

Bovada gave the Ravens 3-to-1 odds of being the next team to sign Bryant. The Houston Texans were next with 4-to-1 odds, followed by the Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints and Washington Redskins at 5-to-1.

The 29-year-old Bryant, who was scheduled to make $12.5 million in 2018 and count $16.5 million against salary cap, met with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on Friday amid speculation that he would be asked to take a pay cut in the wake of declining production the past three seasons.

Bryant had a team-leading 69 receptions for 838 yards and six touchdowns with the Cowboys in 2017. He has gone a career-worst 23 regular-season games without a 100-yard performance.

Since signing a five-year, $70 million contract in 2015, Bryant has failed to record a 1,000-yard season or reel in more than eight touchdown receptions in a season.

Bryant was a touchdown machine in the first half of his career with the Cowboys, hauling in 41 scoring passes in a three-season span, capped by a career-high 16 in 2014. He was named a First-Team All-Pro selection that year.

During that spectacular run from 2012-14, Bryant also averaged 91 receptions and put up at least 1,233 receiving yards in each of those seasons.

For his career, Bryant appeared in 113 games (99 starts) and amassed 7,459 total yards while registering a franchise-record 73 receiving touchdowns.

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