Dez Bryant Will Sign With the Saints on Thursday

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If Bryant plays in this season's NFC Championship Game, it will be the first of his career.

Bryant later retweeted a couple of reporters' suggestions that he should sign with a team that will play against Dallas.

Outside of Thomas, however, the Saints have received lukewarm production from the wide receiver position.

But as I wrote when Bryant was released by Dallas, Payton must now strike a balance between what Bryant is capable of and what might not fit in New Orleans' precision offense.

Meanwhile, how the Saints plan to work in Bryant during practices before Sunday's game remains to be seen. Ostensibly, even a slower Bryant should be able to use his size, physical nature, and route acumen to make serious gains in this offense, especially after the catch.

The Saints are winning here, too.

Instead, the former Cowboys wideout will get to focus on what he's done best as he physically wore down over his last two seasons in Dallas - provide a big, competitive target for Brees in the red zone as the Saints seek to lock down a first-round bye in the playoffs and a clear path to the Super Bowl. He'll have to learn a new playbook and get back into game shape.

The Saints also worked out veteran receivers Brandon Marshall and Kamar Aiken on Tuesday before making the deal with Bryant. And perhaps he can. Regardless of his status this weekend, Bryant will pile up enough reps over the next three weeks to be something close to top speed when he returns to the scene of some of his greatest heroics.

Pro Bowler Michael Thomas is the only Saints receiver with more than 12 catches this season. Bryant's salary was not immediately known. The Saints don't have a designated receiver for that right now. Out of the backfield, Alvin Kamara added another 116 offensive yards and three touchdowns.

After that, it's a pretty severe dropoff. The Saints are a balanced offense, but in games where Brees has to be the dominant force, having a guy who can help with quick routes and consistent downfield gains would be a major addition.

Dez joins a Saints team that just took down the only undefeated team in the National Football League last weekend, the Los Angeles Rams.

Bryant's former teammates on the Cowboys wished him the best in his new gig Wednesday.

"The nice thing is we don't play them until December, so we will get an opportunity to see what they are doing with him", Panthers coach Ron Rivera said shortly after hearing about Bryant's agreement with the Saints.