If Martavis Bryant is ever going to show the league that he’s the superstar talent he claims to be, it’s going to have to be with another team, and at some other time in the future.
Via multiple reports, the Oakland Raiders cut Bryant on Saturday, as he’s facing another NFL substance-abuse suspension.
Suspension is being appealed
It’s unclear how long Bryant will be suspended if he loses his appeal, but it will likely be for a long time: he was suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season, his second in the NFL, and then for the entire 2016 season.
At the time of his suspension in 2016, one of his agents said the discipline came as a surprise; Bryant went to rehab at a Nevada facility during that suspension, and since being reinstated by the league has been subjected to frequent drug tests.
Despite Bryant’s past, the Raiders gave the Steelers a third-round draft pick during draft weekend to acquire the 6-foot-4 receiver. There have been reports for weeks that Bryant would likely be suspended again.
Talented but frustrating
The Steelers stuck by Bryant through his first two suspensions; as a fourth-round pick out of Clemson in 2014, Bryant had 26 catches for 549 yards and an impressive eight touchdowns in 10 games. The next year, he nearly doubled his catches, with 50 for 765 yards and six scores in 11 games. Coming back from a year off last season, Bryant was competing with hotshot rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Bryant, however, wasn’t all that impressed with the younger wideout. In October, he replied to a comment on Instagram, “Juju is no where near better than me fool.” He deleted the comment, but shortly after he requested that the Steelers trade him.
Earlier this month, Oakland coach Jon Gruden expressed frustration with Bryant, telling reporters, “He’s got to get out here and play better. He’s in a competitive situation. Right now, a lot of the other receivers have had a nice camp. He’s just got to learn the offense. He’s got to stay out here. He’s had some illnesses. He’s got to get onto the field. He’s got to master the offense and become more versatile. That’s the key to making this team better.”
Right now, it seems like Bryant needs to make himself better.
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