Football was not a part of Antonio Bryant’s life the past two seasons. But the veteran wide receiver is looking to get back into the NFL after signing with the Seahawks on Thursday night.
“I was just looking for an opportunity to come and play; contribute,” Bryant said Friday, before heading into the team meeting that marked the official start of the Seahawks’ Bing training camp. “This is about improving every day and getting better. That’s all.”
Bryant, 31, was one of two wide-outs the Seahawks had in for workouts on Thursday, along with Braylon Edwards. Bryant also participated on a tryout basis at the team’s minicamp in June. He was signed to fill the spot on the 90-man roster that opened when Mike Williams was released two weeks ago. Like Bryant, Williams had been out of the league for two years when the Seahawks gave him a tryout at a spring minicamp in 2010. Williams was signed and led the team in receiving that season with 65 receptions for 751 yards.
“It’s always very encouraging when you do have an opportunity that does present itself,” Bryant said. “I’m going to just make the most of it.”
The 6-foot-1, 211-pound Bryant did just that in 2008, catching 83 passes for 1,248 yards and seven touchdowns with the Buccaneers – including a nine-catch, 200-yard game against the Panthers on “Monday Night Football.” He also caught 69 passes for 1,009 yards in 2005 for the Browns.
Following an All-American career at Pittsburgh, Bryant was selected in the second round of the 2002 NFL Draft by the Cowboys. After two seasons in Dallas, he was traded to the Browns (2004-05) and also played for the 49ers (2006) before joining the Buccaneers (2008-09). He was released by the Bucs in February of 2010. He signed with the Bengals in March, but was released in August.
He’s now one of 13 wide receivers on the Seahawks’ training-camp roster.
“I’ve been in this position before,” Bryant said. “Right now, I’m considered trash. But hey, that’s cool. I’ve been in this position before. But one thing people have to remember, they better go back and watch their film.
“Just know this: I’m something they’re going to have to compete against.”
Bryant will be wearing No. 84 when the Seahawks practice for the first time on Saturday morning.