Even before Dez Bryant tore his Achilles on Friday, the New Orleans Saints were considering signing veteran wide receiver Brandon Marshall this week as another complementary player, league sources told ESPN.
With Bryant now sidelined eight months, league sources believe the Saints will reach out to Marshall and try to sign him early this week.
Marshall, who was released by the Seattle Seahawks on Oct. 30, could play for the Saints as early as next week, according to sources.
Marshall would give the Saints the veteran wide receiver and red zone presence that they thought they were getting from Bryant. Marshall has never played in an NFL playoff game but likely would get the chance to do it in New Orleans -- and relish it.
Sources told ESPN earlier this week that Marshall impressed the Saints during his workout Tuesday. New Orleans also auditioned veteran receiver Kamar Aiken on Tuesday before ultimately signing Bryant, who suffered his season-ending Achilles injury on the final play of Friday's practice.
Marshall's playing time with the Seahawks had diminished greatly before Seattle released him last month. He played just two offensive snaps in Seattle's victory over Detroit on Oct. 28 and was targeted only twice in his last three games with the Seahawks.
Marshall is a six-time Pro Bowl selection who has six seasons with at least 100 receptions -- the most by any player in NFL history -- but he has yet to appear in an NFL playoff game during a career that spans 13 seasons.
Marshall has also played for the New York Giants, Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bears and New York Jets and has 970 catches for 12,381 yards and 83 touchdown grabs. He is 16th in receptions -- only 12 behind Hall of Famer Randy Moss.
ESPN's Mike Triplett contributed to this report.