BEREA, Ohio— Jarvis Landry is friends with Dez Bryant. He’d like to be teammates.
With the Browns in the market for another playmaker because of Josh Gordon’s absence and uncertainty, Landry said Monday that he hopes Bryant, a three-time Pro Bowler wide receiver in Dallas, joins him in Cleveland.
“If he wants to be here then obviously we’re open arms and we’d love to have him,” Landry said. “He’d be a great addition to our team and our offense — for sure.”
Bryant has expressed mild interest in the Browns, who have had him on their radar for weeks and are trying to schedule a meeting with the 29-year-old.
Last week, after general manager John Dorsey said Bryant had not returned any of his phone calls, the sometimes volatile wideout posted on Twitter that he intends to visit Cleveland sometime this week.
“Starting my visits next week,” Bryant posted on his personal account while the Browns were playing the New York Giants. “I’m coming to the Land to see you Mr Dorsey.”
Landry, who came to the Browns in an offseason trade with Miami, said he has spoken with Bryant. He thinks Cleveland would be a perfect fit for him and that he would thrive in coordinator Todd Haley’s offense.
“Attitude,” Landry said when asked what Bryant could bring to the Browns. “Obviously, effort. You look at the plays he’s making down the field, underneath. He can really do it all — given the opportunities. I think coach Haley would do a great job of getting him the ball if he was here, but if not, then we got guys who can make plays, too. ”
Just not enough of them.
The Browns don’t know when — or if — they’ll get Gordon back. The former Pro Bowler, who has played in just 10 games since 2013 because of numerous drug violations, has missed training camp while taking care of his health. The team has offered no specifics about Gordon’s absence, but both Dorsey and coach Hue Jackson have expressed optimism he’ll return at some point.
Cleveland’s receiving corps lacks experience. Rookie Antonio Callaway is currently listed as a starter and Rashard Higgins, who has just 33 catches in two years, has made progress but may not be ready for an expanded role.
Bryant had 69 receptions for 838 yards and six touchdowns last season.
While there’s no denying Bryant’s skills, the Browns have to factor in whether they want to add a player who has clashed with coaches and recently called out former teammates on a Twitter rant.
Does he fit?
On Sunday, Jackson was asked if there was a concern about adding a player of Bryant’s ilk to a group of developing receivers.
“It is a discussion,” he said. “I think we have a lot of good things going, but at the same time I do not think you can ever have too many good football players as long as they fit and as long as it is the right fit for the organization, for the locker room and for all involved. I think that is John’s charge. That is what he is trying to do. I think we will continue to do that in a number of different positions.
“If we can get better, we still need to continue to get better, and I think that is how he sees it.”
Bryant amassed 531 catches for 7,459 yards and 73 touchdowns in Dallas, but he became disruptive when he wasn’t the primary focus of the passing attack.
Landry doesn’t think Bryant would complain about being a second or third target, and he pointed to Haley’s tenure as Arizona’s offensive coordinator as proof he knows how to include multiple receivers.
“In this offense, everybody is an option and it’s just about who’s making the plays,” he said. “Just looking at Todd’s history, especially what he did in Arizona with (Steve) Breaston, Larry (Fitzgerald) and Anquan (Boldin), those three guys. I think it’s an opportunity for us all to get better. If we add a guy to the room, awesome. If not, then we got to keep moving, so we’ll see how it goes.”