BEREA, Ohio (AP) — The Browns remain interested in former Dallas wide receiver Dez Bryant while managing without Josh Gordon.
Bryant emerged as a possible backup plan for Cleveland after Gordon stepped away from the team to receive treatment to address his health associated with a recovery from drug addiction. The Browns don’t know when Gordon will be back, and in the interim they have discussed signing the temperamental Bryant, who spent eight sometimes combustible seasons with the Cowboys.
Following Friday’s practice, Browns coach Hue Jackson would not comment on whether Cleveland’s interest in Bryant has progressed to contract talks. On Wednesday, general manager John Dorsey said Bryant was under consideration.
“We are always looking for good players,” Jackson said. “We can’t get enough of those kind of guys, guys that can make plays with the ball. John is going to keep churning this thing as much as he can, keep finding talent and then see if it fits for us.”
The 29-year-old Bryant, a three-time Pro Bowler, could help the Browns offset a prolonged loss of Gordon. But until they know more about Gordon’s situation, the team may not want to make any substantial commitment to Bryant.
And while the Browns discuss adding him, Bryant gave Cleveland and any other suitors more to think about with a Twitter rant aimed at the Cowboys on Friday. The team declined a $5.5 million option on Bryant in April, dropping him for salary-cap considerations.
Earlier this week, Cowboys executive Stephen Jones said in a radio interview that quarterback Dak Prescott had it tough last year “with @DezBryant in his ear.”
Bryant fired back with several profane tweets.
Bryant’s history of being difficult with coaches and teammates could be enough to drive the Browns away. However, the team may be willing to take a chance without knowing Gordon’s status and after wide receiver Ricardo Louis was ruled out for the season following neck surgery.
In their search to upgrade their roster further, the Browns hosted former Washington cornerback Bashaud Breeland and former Cincinnati cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones on Friday. Neither player signed, but they are both under consideration.
Jackson has a strong relationship with Jones as the pair worked together with the Bengals.
Jones does have a long list of off-the-field transgressions, but Jackson said he would not have any problem with the team signing him.
“I do know Adam,” he said. “I know what kind of player he is and what kind of person he is. If that happens, if he is on our team, I would love to have him on our team, but he is not right now so we will keep off of that.”
Browns running back Duke Johnson believes Jones could bring the team a needed toughness.
“The thing I think I like most about Pacman is the chip he plays with,” Johnson said. “We need more guys on this football team that plays with a chip and goes out there and fights tooth and nail for the team.”