For a team long hailed as the standard for a head-down, grind-it-out, nothing-matters-but-football ethos, the Pittsburgh Steelers have had more drama than a middle-school cafeteria this season. Wide receiver Martavis Bryant is now leading the latest performance of “As The Black And Gold Turns,” and has told “SportsCenter” that if he can’t get more touches, he wants out.
On @SportsCenter, @JosinaAnderson reports she spoke with Martavis Bryant, who says if role in Steelers O doesn't change, he wants out, citing need to support family. If nothing changes and no trade, according to Anderson, he's prepared to play out contract and leave after '18.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) October 24, 2017
The “feed my family” argument is one that never, ever, EVER goes well for a pro athlete; even the guy at the farthest, dustiest corner of the bench has another zero on his paycheck than most of his fans. Bryant has two more years left on his rookie contract, and is slated to make $615,000 this year and $705,000 next.
[Enter the $100K Baller football contest. $10 to enter and $10K to 1st place]
Bryant has 18 catches for 234 yards and one touchdown this year, but he’s found his role eclipsed by rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster. Bryant was a no-show at the Steelers’ facility Monday, after trashing Smith-Schuster in a since-deleted Instagram comment.
The Steelers hold all the cards right now on Bryant’s contract, and so far have given no indication they’ll move him. But enough screaming from Bryant, and positions can change in a hurry.
UPDATE: Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin addressed the Bryant situation on Tuesday, saying Bryant’s criticism of Smith-Schuster was “out of bounds.” He indicated that he would focus on Bryant soon, but had “bigger fish to fry” in trying to win games and keep the season on track.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.
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