BEREA -- The Browns’ internal discussions about free agent receiver Dez Bryant appear to have turned into real interest.
Cleveland.com reported the Browns have had initial conversations with Bryant’s agents about a one-year deal, citing a league source. NFL Network reported there is mutual interest and the Browns are working on scheduling a visit.
General manager John Dorsey said Wednesday the personnel department had discussed signing Bryant, a three-time Pro Bowler and former Dallas Cowboys star. Dorsey didn’t talk to reporters Friday, and coach Hue Jackson didn’t want to discuss a player not on his team.
“I do not know anything about that,” he said after practice.
The Browns have a hole at the top of their receivers group with the absence of Josh Gordon. He’s skipping the start of camp to focus on his well-being and there’s no timetable for a return.
Reserve Ricardo Louis is also out for the season following neck surgery.
“We are always looking for good players,” Jackson said. “We can’t get enough of those kind of guys, guys that can make plays with the ball. John is going to keep churning this thing as much as he can, keep finding talent and then see if it fits for us.”
Bryant, 29, was the No. 1 wideout for years in Dallas but was released in April to avoid paying his $12.5 million salary. In eight seasons, he caught 531 passes for 7,459 yards, a 14.0 average and 73 touchdowns.
The physical wideout (6-foot-2, 220 pounds) started all 16 games last year with 69 catches for 838 yards, a 12.1 average and six touchdowns.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told reporters this week Bryant can still play.
“Dez is an NFL player,” Jones said. “There’s no doubt in my mind, and (he) can really contribute.
“He can help teams win games. I say that unequivocally. I believe that.”
The compliment didn’t stop Bryant from taking shots at Jones and former teammates on Twitter on Friday night. He called Jones “clueless.”
Bryant’s attitude and behavior created problems in Dallas, but the Browns are at the least considering adding him.
“He is a great player. I am a fan of his,” quarterback Tyrod Taylor said. “The wide receiver room now has a ton of talent, he can only add to that. If they feel that Dez or anyone else that they could bring in could help our organization, then I stand behind them 100 percent.”
Christian Kirksey isn’t backing down now that he’s back from summer vacation.
“I’m a confident guy -- confident in my teammates and my brothers,” he said Friday morning. “I don’t regret that tweet at all.”
That tweet was sent June 19 and received a bunch of attention. Fifteen thousand likes, 5.2 retweets and 594 comments as of Friday morning.
“Woke up this morning letting yal know Browns will be in the playoffs this year!” he typed. “Remember this tweet #Cleveland”
No one will let him forget it if it doesn’t come true.
Kirksey, the fifth-year linebacker and team captain, picked a long limb to venture out on. The Browns went 0-16 last season and 1-15 the year before. They haven’t had a winning season since 2007 and haven’t made the postseason since 2002.
Kirskey doesn’t care.
“I’m not too much worried about people’s opinions,” he said before the second training camp practice. “I know what this team has and I know how hard we’re working.
“I was very confident in that tweet and I stick to it. I truly believe it.”
Former Washington cornerback Bashaud Breeland had a quick visit and took a physical, and former Bengals cornerback Adam Jones worked out for the Browns.
Breeland is receiving interest from a lot of teams, with the Ravens pursuing him “aggressively,” according to a league source. The visit with the Browns went well and preliminary contract discussions took place.
Breeland, one of the top cornerbacks on the free agent market, agreed to a three-year, $24 million deal with the Panthers in March, but it was nullified because of a failed physical. He told ESPN he cut the heel on his left foot when a golf cart hit him in the back of the leg in the Dominican Republic. He needed a skin graft.
He’s back running and is expected to be ready for Week 1.
Breeland (5-foot-11, 197 pounds) was a fourth-round pick of Washington in 2014. He started 58 games in four years with eight interceptions.
Jones is 34, coming off a groin injury and brings a lot of off-field baggage. Jackson knows him from their time together in Cincinnati.
“I know what kind of player he is and what kind of person he is,” Jackson said. “If that happens, if he is on our team, I would love to have him on our team, but he is not right now so we will keep off of that.”
Kirksey and running back Duke Johnson said they’d welcome Jones.
SHOW OF SUPPORT
Johnson applauded Gordon’s decision to take time away.
“I’m definitely excited for him in this process because a lot of times we get looked at as just football players and not actual humans,” Johnson said. “So for him to want to take that step and want to get himself together before he comes back, I think it’s awesome.
“We’re going to love him even more for being a grown-up and making that decision because a lot of people wouldn’t ask for help and definitely wouldn’t go out in public and tell people they’re asking for help, so we appreciate it.”
Left tackle Greg Robinson was carted off the field after taking a shot to the head. He was being evaluated for a concussion.
** For the second straight day, defensive tackle Caleb Brantley left practice with cramps.
** Tight end Devon Cajuste (concussion), receiver Damion Ratley (hip) and defensive lineman Daniel Ekuale (calf) didn’t practice after getting hurt Thursday.
** Jackson said strong safety Jabrill Peppers (groin) was injured working out in the break before camp. He’s hopeful Peppers will start practicing in the next week.
Receiver Blake Jackson and defensive lineman Zaycoven Henderson were signed and joined their new teammates on the field after participating in a tryout Friday morning.
Jackson (5-10, 200) was a quarterback at Division III Mary Hardin-Baylor and spent time in the CFL. Henderson (6-1, 305) is a rookie out of Texas A&M.
** The Browns will host their annual blood drive Saturday at 12 sites in the region. All presenting donors will receive two upper-level tickets to the preseason game against the Eagles. Browns alumni will visit select sites.
Medina Community Recreation Center will accept donations from 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. And the Berea Recreation Center, seconds away from training camp, will accept from 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7253 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Like him on Facebook and follow him @scottpetrak on Twitter.