The Houston Texans need to add another wide receiver as injuries continue to take away from the wide receiver depth chart. Is a certain free agent the right guy?
There is a three-time Pro Bowl, one-time All-Pro wide receiver currently watching the Houston Texans and the rest of the NFL from a distance this season. It is no secret the Texans do need some more help at the position with the recent season-ending injury to Will Fuller.
Now the question is: should the Texans give that player a call to see where interest is on both sides? That player is former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant, and that question is easier asked than answered for varying reasons.
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Fuller was having a very good season for the Texans in seven games, with three 100-plus-yard receiving games, including this past Thursday with five receptions, including a 73-yard touchdown reception. The Texans wide receiver, Fuller, finishes the season with 32 receptions for 503 yards and four touchdowns, averaging 15.7 yards per reception.
Losing Fuller is really a big hit for the Texans offense that is finally starting to reach their potential, but “now what?” is the question for the Texans. Do they trade for a wide receiver, or do they look to free agency for a player to replace Fuller for the rest of the season, especially with Bruce Ellington and Fuller on the injured reserve list, plus Keke Coutee has missed four of the eight games played this season with injury.
Having DeAndre Hopkins as the top wide receiver for the Texans helps a lot, but what if the Texans were to add Bryant to the roster? Would he do more harm than good, or would he be at his best and really help the Texans continue with the offensive power they showed this past Thursday night?
According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, he said the Texans aren’t expected to pursue Bryant to replace Fuller via free agency. Wilson quoted Texans head coach Bill O’Brien when asked about Bryant:
"“I would say my answer to that is we explore everything,” O’Brien said. “I think that’s kind of the job, one of the main jobs of, obviously, [general manager] Brian (Gaine) and then he brings things to me and then we talk and we communicate.”"
That isn’t a yes or no answer, but the Texans really should take full advantage and at least work out Bryant this week or even during the bye week to see where he and the franchise stand. What would it hurt for the franchise to see if Bryant can still be a quality player for the franchise for the remainder of this season and even the playoffs? In 2017, Bryant totaled 69 receptions for 838 yards and six touchdowns, averaging 12.1 yards per reception.
Plus, if they were to trade for a wide receiver the Texans would most likely have to part ways with a draft pick.
Granted, Bryant did have issues in his final few seasons with the Cowboys, whether it be injuries, a decrease in overall play or sideline arguments with teammates and coaches, but that was then, and now the Texans need real help at wide receiver opposite of Hopkins.
Bryant is a talented player, most likely healthy and wouldn’t have to be the top wide receiver for the Texans if he would accept a deal. In all honesty, the Texans, again, should take a look at Bryant to just see how good of a wide receiver he still is.
The Cleveland Browns worked him out during the preseason, but nothing happened with them and Bryant with a signed contract. If both sides were to just sit and talk, maybe an agreement could be worked out with the Texans and Bryant, knowing Hopkins is the main option and the offense is led by Hopkins and Deshaun Watson.
If Bryant is serious about coming back to the NFL, the Texans could be a nice fit for the veteran wide receiver. Most likely, it seems like that won’t happen, but it wouldn’t hurt the Texans to see where they and Bryant stand in coming to some sort of agreement that would benefit both sides for the rest of the season.