After months of speculation surrounding a possible suspension for former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant, it would appear the hammer has finally fallen after it was announced on Friday that the NFL had suspended him indefinitely for violating the terms of his reinstatement.
#Raiders WR Martavis Bryant was finally suspended — again. He is back on the suspended list indefinitely for violating the terms of his reinstatement. More violations of the Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 14, 2018
This latest chapter in the troubled career of an extremely talented young receiver could potentially have ended his time in the NFL before he really had a chance to make his mark. Having been suspended twice before for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, Bryant may struggle to find another team ever again.
Despite a promising debut as a rookie and solid second season, even after he had been suspended for four games, Bryant never really recovered his early form after a year long suspension in 2016. Increasing questions about his attitude and a number of inappropriate outbursts on social media would ultimately led to him being benched briefly in 2017 and Pittsburgh would trade him to the Oakland Raiders during the 2018 NFL draft for a third round pick.
Unfortunately for Bryant, his problems went with him to Oakland and rumors about an impending suspension would dog him throughout the year. Slow to adapt to the Raiders offense, he would record just 19 receptions for 266-yards this season before ending the year on injured reserve.
There can be no pleasure in seeing such a talented young player waste the potential he had, regardless of the way things ended between him and the Steelers and it can only be hoped that Bryant is able to come back from this to become the player many believed he always could be. Purely from a football perspective, Pittsburgh’s management have to be somewhat thankful they managed to trade him for a Day 2 draft pick rather than being the ones dealing with a suspended player again.
With his contract set to expire at the end of the season, Bryant will find it much harder to get back into the league when he is eligible to apply for reinstatement in 10 months, especially without a team to support him like he did last time with the Steelers.