The Bengals may be on the verge of a big-money deal for wide receiver Dez Buechele, but the team could also use a boost.NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reported Thursday that the team is considering a $10.6 million signing bonus for Bryant, who will be a restricted free agent after this season.
Bryant’s deal is the largest in the NFL, with an annual average of $6.75 million.
It is the fourth-largest in NFL history, behind only the $7.1 million received from Deion Sanders in 2007 and $8.8 million in 2012.
Bucs president of football operations and chief strategy officer Joe Banner said the team has “a great chance” of landing the wideout.
The contract also includes a $2.75-million signing bonus.
If the deal goes through, it will become the biggest-ever in the franchise’s history.
The Bengals signed Bryant in March 2009 as a second-round pick out of LSU and then traded him to the Bears in July 2010 for a second and a fifth-round draft pick.
Buecheles $9.5 million base salary in the new deal, which was set to increase to $10 million in 2019, was the biggest signing bonus in the team’s history at the time.
Bengals general manager Brandon Beane made a big splash in free agency by signing former Steelers receiver Antonio Brown to a five-year, $125 million contract.
The Steelers released Brown and signed Bryant, whose production this season has been disappointing.
Bubbles Bryant, but he has to take care of his familyBueChele is a good receiver, but BueCheles play is not that good, and he needs to take his time getting back into shape, Bleacher Report’s Daniel Jeremiah said.
Jeremiah said Bryant’s age could hurt his value, though it is not clear if he will play with a broken foot.
Bryan Bulaga of Bleacher Reports suggested Bryant could be a top target for the Jaguars, who have been linked to him as a possible target.
The team could be interested in Bryant’s services if it can get a deal done with his agent, according to Rapoports.
The Steelers and Jaguars have never signed a contract extension with a player that year.
The Jaguars were also linked to former Bills receiver Marqise Lee as a potential target, though the Bills ended up parting ways with him after his injury.
Bills wideout Marquise Goodwin, who had nine catches for 113 yards in last season’s loss to the Bengals, is a free agent.