WR Bryant excited after first practice with Saints
Dez Bryant participated in his first practice as a member of the New Orleans Saints on Thursday, and he was adamant about one thing.
He says he has nothing to prove after the way his stint with the Dallas Cowboys ended.
"Not at all, not at all. That chapter's closed, that's something I had to accept. I accepted that and moved on," Bryant told reporters. "I'm here with the New Orleans Saints. I'm a (member of the) Saints now, I'm excited about that and I'm looking forward to moving on with these guys."
Bryant agreed to terms with the Saints on Wednesday. He is signed through the rest of the season and will make $600,000.
He will be wearing No. 88 after taking the roster spot vacated by fellow wide receiver Cam Meredith.
Meredith was placed on injured reserve and will undergo knee surgery, coach Sean Payton said. He had nine receptions for 114 yards and one touchdown this year.
Meredith, 26, missed the 2017 season with a knee injury and was signed away from the Chicago Bears as a restricted free agent in the offseason. Meredith signed a two-year, $10 million deal.
The Saints were interested in Bryant, a three-time Pro Bowler, because they have had issues with their receiver group this season.
Star wideout Michael Thomas has 70 receptions, but none of the other receivers has more than 12. The team also sustained a blow when receiver Ted Ginn Jr. (knee) went on injured reserve three weeks ago.
Bryant, 30, had 69 catches for Dallas last season before the two sides had an acrimonious split. He was unable to land a new gig prior to the season or during the first half of the campaign.
Bryant insisted he will have no trouble fitting in with the Saints (7-1), who have been one of the top teams in the NFL this season.
"I'm always gonna be me, you know, who I am. I'm not a bad guy. I've always been a good guy," Bryant said. "You can ask my teammates -- my ex-teammates -- how I am. I love the locker room. It's like family. Every locker room that I've been in from middle school, high school, college to the pros, it's always been like a family.
"You have a natural bond. It's more than just being in the locker room, it's outside of it, too."
Bryant is looking forward to working with Saints star quarterback Drew Brees. He said Brees' presence was a big factor in why he was excited about New Orleans' interest in his services.
"For one, who wouldn't want to play with Drew Brees?" Bryant said. "Not taking away from nobody else, but you got a guy like Drew Brees. You got a guy like Michael Thomas, (Benjamin) Watson, Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram, you got those types of guys -- little baby GOATs around here."
Looming is a return to Dallas. The Saints visit the Cowboys on Nov. 29 on a Thursday night, and Bryant isn't yet ready to process what his emotional state will be that night.
"You know I honestly don't know. I don't know, but I am gonna be excited," Bryant said. "I'll get to see all the Cowboys fans. You know I still love those guys. I love my ex-teammates, they're my family.
"But I'm here on a new chapter. It's gonna be fun, but I'm the opponent now."
--Field Level Media
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)