New England Patriots

If any former Patriot knows what kind of receivers end up in New England, it’s Troy Brown. The former Patriots great used that knowledge and experience to rattle off a few good reasons why Dez Bryant isn’t on New England’s radar.

“I just don’t think he’s that guy the kind of receiver they want in this type of offense,” Brown said in a new appearance on NBC Sports Boston’s “Early Edition” about Bryant. “Obviously people are seeing some things in the guy that they may not care for a whole lot.

“I just don’t think he runs the type of routes the Patriots want in a receiver right now.”

Bryant’s name was inevitably going to come up in the wake of the Patriots releasing Kenny Britt on Wednesday. But Troy pretty much summed up the multitude of reasons why the Patriots aren’t going to bring Bryant in, and why the veteran hasn’t signed anywhere else yet.

Nov 12, 2017; Atlanta, GA: Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant on the sideline in the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports)

Nov 12, 2017; Atlanta, GA: Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant on the sideline in the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports)

The 29-year-old Bryant remains a free agent and hasn’t drawn real interest from any team other than the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens. He recently visited the Browns and left without a deal, but reportedly turned down a three-year offer from the Ravens in April. Bryant apparently wants a “big 1-year deal” to prove himself then sign a long-term contract as a free agent in 2019.

New England currently has about $8.15 million in salary cap space, according to the Boston Sports Journal’s Miguel Benzan, a.k.a. @PatsCap on Twitter. So some maneuvering would be necessary and easy to pull off in order to sign Bryant without being right up against the cap. But it wouldn’t be as simple as just adding him to the roster.

The logical receivers for Bryant to replace on the roster are Phillip Dorsett or Cordarrelle Patterson. Neither would be terribly likely. Dorsett, while yet to make major contributions to the offense, is showing a greater understanding of the system in year two. And Patterson holds real value as a kick returner with similar tools as a receiver, while Bryant hasn’t returned a punt since 2012.

LANDOVER, MD – OCTOBER 29: Wide receiver Dez Bryant #88 of the Dallas Cowboys runs upfield against the Washington Redskins during the second quarter at FedEx Field on October 29, 2017 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Bryant, even if he’s lost a step, should be a better receiver than Patterson. But the latter’s certainly similar in that, while big and flashy, he doesn’t run Patriot-like routes. He isn’t likely to have a firm grasp of the offense right away, if ever. But Belichick has likely seen enough from Patterson on offense that he’s willing to spend $3 million on him rather than $8 million or more on Bryant.

You can leave open the possibility that he signs here if he takes an offer well below what he’s reportedly expecting. But unless Bryant becomes willing to sign a minimal one-year deal with the Patriots, his financial demands are likely a deal-breaker anyway.

Even with all these other reasons, it could simply be too late at this point. The calls to sign Bryant made a lot more sense back in March after Danny Amendola departed as a free agent. You could even argue it made perfect sense to bring up after Julian Edelman’s suspension became public knowledge. But not after the Pats cut a receiver that hadn’t practiced in full since June 5.

It’s understandable to wonder why the Patriots wouldn’t show even a hint of interest in a talented receiver like Bryant. But he’s been out there without much buzz within the league for months now. And he’s out there for a reason. The Patriots aren’t going to be the team that learns that the hard way.

— By Matt Dolloff,

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at