In an expected move, the Dallas Cowboys have parted ways with wide receiver Dez Bryant after eight years together. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network Insider, the Cowboys released the veteran wideout after he met with team owner Jerry Jones, who drafted Bryant 24th overall in the 2010 NFL Draft. The 29-year-old Bryant was set to earn $12.5 million in 2018, with a salary cap hit of $16.5 million. Earlier, the Cowboys wanted Bryant to take a pat cut, but they did not make the request during his meeting with Jones. According to Bryant’s manager, the development was bittersweet since the wide receiver loves Cowboys fans.

In a tweet to fans, Bryant said “Cowboy nation I need you to know this wasn’t my decision.. I will always love y’all... forever Dallas in my heart.” Last season, Bryant played 16 games, recording 69 catches for 838 yards and six touchdowns. However, Bryant failed to surpass the 1,000-catching yards mark in the past three seasons. From 2012 to 2014, Bryant exceeded the 1,000- receiving yard mark, tallying a career-best 1,382 yards in 2012. In his eight-year stint with the Cowboys, Bryant caught 531 passes for 7,459 yards and 73 touchdowns.

Patriots linebacker wants Bryant

After Bryant was released, linebacker Marquis Flowers was among several players who recruited the veteran wide receiver via Twitter.

In a tweet, Flowers said “DEZ COME CHECK FOXBORO OUT BIG DAWG.” While pairing Bryant with veteran quarterback Tom Brady will remind Patriots fans of Hall of Fame wideout Randy Moss’ stint at Foxborough, it would be impossible since New England is currently deep at wideout.

Once training camp starts, the competition for spots at wide receiver will be tough as Jordan Matthews, Malcolm Mitchell, Kenny Britt, Phillip Dorsett, Cordarrelle Patterson, Riley McCarron and Cody Hollister will fight for reps and roster spots behind Julian Edelman and Chris Hogan.

Also, the Patriots could only offer a low contract to Bryant compared to what he will get from other teams.

Bryant wants to face Cowboys twice a year

Bryant is expected to join an NFC East team so that he can face the Cowboys twice a year, a source told Mickey Spagnola of Spagnola reported that Bryant’s parting words to the Cowboys were “I’ll see you guys twice this year”, meaning he could join a division rival. The other members of the NFC East are the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins and the New York Giants. In a tweet, Bryant said that “it’s very personal” this season.