More drama in Pittsburgh as Martavis Bryant reportedly wants a trade

Blake SchusterYahoo Sports Contributor
Shutdown Corner

This may be hard to believe, but it appears all is not well in the Pittsburgh Steelers locker room.

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For the fourth consecutive week the Steelers are dealing with another self-inflicted controversy.’s Ian Rapoport tweeted Sunday night that wide receiver Martavis Bryant has requested a trade from the only NFL team he’s ever played for.

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Bryant was suspended for the entire 2016 NFL season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy and hasn’t found much traction in the Steelers’ offense since returning this year. He’s hauled in just 15 catches for 204 yards and one touchdown while starting alongside Antonio Brown.

It’s odd that this would leak out after a massive 19-13 victory over the previously undefeated Kansas City Chiefs, but with the trade deadline set for October 31, there isn’t much time to hold back if Bryant is trying to force a move.

This has turned into quite a disastrous start to the year off the field for head coach Mike Tomlin —who famously tries to avoid distractions at all costs.

To recap Steelers first month or so of the season there was the Alejandro Villanueva anthem controversy in Week 3, followed by Brown’s sideline tantrum in Week 4 and then quarterback Ben Roethlisberger tossed five interceptions against the Jaguars in Week 5 before saying, “Maybe I don’t have it anymore.”

Oh, and then Roethlisberger tried to pretend like he never said that. 

This has unquestionably been one of the weirder Steelers seasons in quite some time.

When you factor in Roethlisberger’s offseason comments about possibly retiring after this year it gets even stranger. And, if you go back shortly before that, there was Brown’s locker room video controversy during last season’s playoffs.

Winning has naturally made these issues a lot easier to brush off. The Steelers are 4-2 to start the year and sitting atop a weaker-than-normal AFC North. That will help a lot of fans tune most of this stuff out. But a trade request is a big deal. As is week-after-week of non-football talk dominating the discussion in Pittsburgh.

For as much talent and star power as the Steelers boast  — to say nothing of the chemistry built up over years of playing with each other — it’s amazing these flare ups keep happening at all.

Somehow the team that hates distractions seems unable to stay focused.

Martavis Bryant’s time in Pittsburgh may be coming to an end if he gets what he wants. (AP Photo)
Martavis Bryant’s time in Pittsburgh may be coming to an end if he gets what he wants. (AP Photo)

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Blake Schuster is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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