The Associated PressMETAIRIE, La. (AP) — Dez Bryant has found a new team, agreeing to join the already prolific offense of the surging New Orleans Saints.
The former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver, who has been looking for an NFL home since becoming a free agent in April, will now have a chance to catch passes from one of the most prolific quarterbacks in NFL history in New Orleans’ Drew Brees.
“There is certainly a skillset that he has that is going to be beneficial,” Brees said. “So I look forward to getting to work with him. I look forward to building a rapport with him.
“I look forward to getting him involved in this offense and just become a complement to all the guys that we already have. He’ll be a great addition.”
The 30-year-old Bryant and the Saints agreed to contract terms on Wednesday, and it remains unclear to what extent Bryant will play when New Orleans visits Cincinnati on Sunday.
Bryant spent his first eight years in the NFL with Dallas and last season caught 69 passes for 838 yards and six touchdowns, including a 50-yard scoring play, for the Cowboys.
However, his professional reputation has been marred at times by public confrontations with coaches and teammates during games and practices.
Veteran Saints tight end Ben Watson said players in New Orleans’ locker room must guard against pre-judging Bryant based on superficial observations from old television clips without knowing all the facts or how Bryant has evolved personally since.
“I don’t know Dez. I wasn’t in the locker room with him in Dallas. I don’t know all the dynamics,” Watson said. “I also don’t know what’s transpired with him personally since that situation.
“So the great thing about a locker room, I think, is we take guys in and we say, ‘Hey, what are you like now?’”
Seeking salary cap relief, the Cowboys released Bryant after last season with two years remaining on the receiver’s five-year, $70 million contract.
Last season was Bryant’s best since he caught 88 passes for 1,320 yards and 16 TDs in 2014, which at the time was his third consecutive season with at least 1,200 yards receiving.
He signed his last Cowboys deal right after that, but has not approached that level of production since — a central reason Dallas released him in April.
DE Irvin signs with Atlanta
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons have signed defensive end Bruce Irvin to a one-year deal announced Wednesday, reuniting the veteran with coach Dan Quinn.
Irvin, cut by the Oakland Raiders on Saturday, became a free agent after clearing waivers on Tuesday with $3.8 million remaining on his contract.
The Falcons, who play at Cleveland on Sunday, did not release terms of the deal.
Irvin, 31, is an Atlanta native. He played two seasons with Seattle when Quinn was the team’s defensive coordinator. The Falcons rank 14th in the league with 17 sacks.