In terms of sports, things are finally starting to pick up a little. Major League Baseball starts next week, the NBA is finally worth following with the playoffs just around the corner, hockey is winding down, and the NFL draft is 20 days away. Not a bad time of the year if I must say.
The last football action that we saw took place at the Combine. Since then, players hoping to make the leap to the NFL have been working out and meeting with the 32 teams in the league. One of the most talked about players of this year’s draft is someone that the Broncos have a chance of acquiring.
That player is wide receiver, Dez Bryant, from Oklahoma State. Bryant has good size (6’2”, 220 lbs) and speed (4.52 in the 40). In 2008, Bryant had 87 receptions for 1,480 yards and 19 TDs. In the three games he played in 2009, he had 17 receptions for 323 yards and 4 TDs. However, one issue that teams are struggling with is his character off the field. Bryant was suspended by the NCAA his senior year due to allegedly training with former NFL player, Deion Sanders. Additionally, while Bryant was attending OSU, he skipped classes and meetings, and was late to games.
These issues at the college level raise red flags as Bryant enters the NFL. Now that players are able to make money (legally), you think that conduct is going to improve? I don’t. Once a player is making money, that’s where the trouble begins as friends, family, and acquaintances get involved with various business (or non business) ventures. When a player signs a large contract, which Bryant will most likely do, he becomes an airbag for the people that he knows. Have a problem with money? Go to Bryant. Life becomes more complicated, hands down. There’s a bigger and brighter spotlight on the player, and when that happens, problems can become magnified.
Bryant knows that the criticism is flying at him left and right. He says that he hasn’t done anything wrong lately and he doesn’t look for trouble. In a recent interview, he made his plea by comparing himself to Randy Moss:
“Whoever passes up on me, it’s over with. I feel like I’m going through the same situation Randy Moss did. That man had issues and teams were passing up on him, and when he got on that field, he killed them. He murdered them. Look at him today: One of the best players in the NFL.” (Dallas News.com)
As talented as Dez Bryant is on the field, he’s not worth the trouble that he could potentially cause off the field. The Broncos already went through all that with Brandon Marshall. Now that it appears that Marshall has improved his off the field behavior, that’s when we decide to turn him loose to one of the other 31 teams? Tell me it isn’t so! Here’s my plea to pass on Bryant and keep Marshall. Bryant might be that cute little puppy that attracts all the attention, but he’ll shit on the rug the first chance that he gets. Marshall, on the other hand, has become a more mature “Beast” that knows the system and will protect the house if he’s offered a big time contract.
Let the Dolphins draft Bryant. You would think that they would’ve learned their lesson after dealing with Ricky Williams and his issues. The Broncos, however, don’t need to acquire Bryant’s talent. They’ve already got a great young Pro Bowl wideout. The organization has tamed “The Beast” more and more each year, and he’s worth sticking with.