There was a reason why Martavis Bryant was a 4th round draft pick. Players who have the size, speed and jumping ability like Bryant don't fall to the 4th round unless there is something else going on. As the Pittsburgh Steelers are finding out the hard way, Bryant's substance abuse issues have caused him to already face one 4-game suspension at the beginning of the 2015 season and now a one-year ban from the league for violating the league's policy again, as DKonPittsburghSports.com broke the story.
Agent tells Post-Gazette Steelers WR Martavis Bryant has appealed NFL's intention to suspend him for one year.— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) March 12, 2016
Martavis Bryant agent Tom Santanello told Post-Gazette that Steelers WR learned of possible one-year suspension this week.— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) March 12, 2016
The news comes at a time when the Steelers recently acquired a dynamic tight end in Ladarius Green to help in the vertical passing game, but what might be even more important is the contract Darrius Heyward-Bey just signed, keeping him in Pittsburgh for three more seasons.
When Heyward-Bey was signed to a new contract, many wondered why the organization would keep the veteran with Sammie Coates ready to take the next step in his NFL journey in his second year. There is a good chance the team knew about the potential suspension, and solidified their receiving corps by keeping Heyward-Bey.
If the suspension is upheld, and Bryant is lost for the season, the team will likely go into training camp with Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, Sammie Coates and Darrius Heyward-Bey as the team's top 4 wide recievers.
Although the Steelers offense will still remain a top unit in the NFL, this is a crushing blow to the team as they could be forced to have to replace Bryant's impressive production throughout his first two seasons in the NFL.