With the regular season looming, Dez Bryant is dispelling the notion that he feels added pressure to find a roster any time soon. He might want to rethink that position. He needs a resurgent year to reclaim his former value and to do that he needs to be on the field. He turned down a three year deal with the Baltimore Ravens worth seven million dollars per year, and last week, he turned down a one-year offer from the Cleveland Browns reportedly worth five million dollars.

Until he proves that the past three seasons were the result of a terrible Dallas Cowboys passing offense rather than a decline in his skills, he simply isn’t going to get an offer commiserative with the value he believes he deserves.

[See my article, "Dez Bryant is correct, he is a scapegoat for the Dallas Cowboys"].

With that in mind, Bryant needs to forget about making top dollar this year and focus instead on finding the roster spot that helps him prove he is still one of the best wide receivers in the game today.

Baltimore was ranked 29 in passing in the NFL last year, even worse than Dallas at 28, so it’s not hard to see why Bryant would pass them up, regardless of the contract amount. Cleveland has ranked near the bottom of the NFL in passing for several years, and although Tyrod Taylor is an upgrade in touchdown-to-turnover ratio, he is not a quarterback that lights up a stat sheet.

With Taylor as the primary starter over the past three seasons, the Buffalo Bills were ranked 31 in passing in 2017, 30 in 2016, and 28 in 2015, meaning Cleveland will be a power running team, likely ranking near the bottom in passing yet again.

So while Bryant would significantly upgrade both of those teams, they aren’t likely to be a great value-creator for him.

New England and Jacksonville are both top suitors

This brings us to the New England Patriots and Jacksonville Jaguars rumors surfacing over the past week. The Patriots parted ways with Eric Decker, depleting an already thinned receiving corps, and Jacksonville lost their number one receiver,

Marquis Lee, to injury, and this after having already parted ways in the offseason with two of their former top wide-outs in Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson.

Both of these teams certainly would meet Bryant’s criteria of playing for a contender. Jacksonville was the runner-up in representing the AFC in the Super Bowl, and New England was the team that overcame a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to send Jacksonville home.

While Jacksonville’s passing attack has consistently ranked well ahead of the Cowboys for the past three seasons, compared to the rest of the NFL, it has been middle of the road.

New England, on the other hand, ranked number two in passing last year and in the top five the past three seasons. You have to go all the way back to 2010 before you find a season they weren’t in the Top 10, and even then, they ranked 11th. There is also the Blake Bortles versus Tom Brady consideration.

To have a chance to play with one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time should factor into Bryant’s thought process (Bryant recently tweeted that Brady is one of his all-time favorite players). The other consideration is simply Jacksonville versus New England.

New England is a success machine; combining this era’s top dynasty with its best coach. While Jacksonville could be a great opportunity for Bryant, it is hard to imagine a better all-around scenario for Bryant than New England, and conversely, imagine a better receiver scenario for New England than gaining a wide-out of Bryant’s caliber.

Defenses will lose sleep over Bryant in a Patriot jersey

Unless Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers calls Bryant with a personal invitation, New England is the team that Bryant needs to pursue. He would be their number one wide-out until Julian Edelman finishes his four-game suspension, and once Edelman is back, a combination of Rob Gronkowski, Edelman, and Bryant would create one of the most potent receiving combinations that Tom Brady has ever had. It looks to be a near perfect fit.

Any question of Bryant being able to accept a secondary role to Gronkowski or Edelman should be put to rest. Bryant has never been frustrated over not getting the ball out of selfishness; rather, his frustration boils over when the team is falling behind, and decision making is stymieing offensive production and play calling.

That won’t ever be a problem with a Bill Belichick coached the team. Concern that Bryant would have a difficult time accepting the “Patriot Way” should also be put to rest. Bryant works as hard as anyone, and he is a hungry player driven to succeed. He would love the disciplined “win” culture of New England.

Randy Moss part Deux?

This could be the Randy Moss story all over again, minus some of the negatives Moss’ brought to the table when the Patriots signed him. After finishing his second season in Oakland with 42 receptions, 553 yards, three touchdowns, Moss came to the Patriots and put up 98 receptions, 1,493 yards, and 23 touchdowns in his first year in New England (one of the best seasons in his entire career).

Moss’ first three seasons with New England topped each of his prior three seasons in Minnesota and Oakland. Bryant is fully capable of a similar turnaround. With his ability to go up high and stretch the field, Bryant is a dangerous threat all over the field, but particularly the end-zone. Add him to the Patriot mix in the Red Zone, and there won’t be a greater nightmare scenario for defenses in 2018 along with a healthy Gronkowski and Edelman's return.

Brady praises Dez

Appearing on Kirk & Callahan Monday morning, Tom Brady said, “I know Dez just a little bit. I think he is obviously a helluva player", while also affirming he doesn’t make recommendations to the organization when it comes to personnel.

He might want to reconsider that stance. The historic opportunity to add on more Super Bowl championships in the twilight of his career shouldn’t be ignored, and adding Bryant would certainly improve his chances. As ageless as Brady has been, his window is shrinking, and there is no predictor for how fast it will close; he’s already well beyond any normal curve. However, if he insists on staying out of the personnel office, then maybe his wife, Gisele Bundchen, should take up the task. She’s, had no problem criticizing the receiving corps situation in the past, so why not take a proactive, preventative approach and campaign for Bryant now, rather than complain midseason that Brady can’t catch his own throws?

Popcorn anyone?

If New England were to sign Bryant, you can be certain that excitement would follow. In the coming days, if it begins to look like a deal might be possible, then to paraphrase classic Terrell Owens, “Patriot fans, you might start thinking about pre-stocking some popcorn.” New England should jump at the opportunity to sign Bryant, and likewise, no matter what the contract offer looks like, Bryant should jump at the chance to play for the Patriots.

[Read my article, "Dez Bryant looking to prove he's a top NFL receiver, but will he get the chance?"]

It is insane that a player of Bryant’s caliber is still sitting without a team. It isn’t just a crime against Bryant; it is a crime for all the Football fans being denied the opportunity to see his talent on a football field.

Bob Kraft, pick up the phone and make an offer, and Dez Bryant, answer that phone and say “yes”, no matter what that offer is, so long as it puts you in a Patriot jerseys, because one season in New England will certainly write your ticket for the next contract to follow.