What does Bengals' T.O. decision say about former Buc Antonio Bryant
The Bucs let Antonio Bryant walk during free agency in a move that many (myself included) openly questioned, especially given the lack of playmakers in their receiving corps at the time.
The draft changed things a bit, plus the Bucs added Reggie Brown in a subsequent trade with the Eagles. But a sufficient answer was never really given about why the Bucs opted to not even engage in contract talks with their only coveted unrestricted free agent.
Now, months after Bryant signed his $28 million contract with the Bengals, we learn that Cincinnati has also signed free agent Terrell Owens. Immediately, speculation began that Bryant's problematic right knee might be a concern for the Bengals. But the latest news out of Cincinnati says everything is fine and that Bryant will be on the field for the start of training camp.
Still, it's fair to ask what, if anything, the signing of Owens says about Bryant. Yes, Owens came relatively cheap. But after the huge investment in Bryant, it seems Cincinnati wouldn't make this move unless it had concerns of some kind about its receiving corps. Do those concerns involve Bryant? Perhaps.
Consider this take from Joe Reedy, a respected reporter from the Cincinnati Enquirer.
"As much as the Bengals would like to try and deny it, there’s something wrong with Antonio Bryant, with some suggesting he might be headed to the PUP list. It will be interesting to see what he has to say when the players report to Georgetown today."
It's just something to keep an eye on as the preseason commences. Before long, we'll know whether Bryant's all good or not and whether the Bucs in fact did the right thing in letting him get away.