Nothing is more frustrating to fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers than the waiting game the NFL is now playing in regards to the reinstatement of wide receiver Martavis Bryant.
And that is just the fan base.
Think about the team itself, as the prepare for the 2017 NFL Draft and realize how Bryant’s reinstatement could change their team needs heading into the selection process.
If Bryant isn’t available to them in 2017, drafting a wide receiver would be justified in the first three rounds. With Bryant back next season, the team could push a wide receiver pick back to the later rounds, if at all.
While Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert say all the right things regarding Bryant, the NFL remains mum on the situation. However, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Bryant himself is confident he will be back on the field in 2017.
"When you speak to people close to him," Rapoport said, "they are confident that in the near future he will get word that he has been reinstated to the NFL."
The key words in the above report are “near future” and “confident”. If Bryant is indeed reinstated, it happening in the near future would be a best-case scenario for everyone involved. As for the confidence level, Bryant, or his camp, have no idea just how Roger Goodell and the NFL front office will view his previous missteps, what he has done to rectify his life and if that is indeed enough to return to be a part of he NFL again.
From all reports, Bryant is indeed a changed man. He left Los Angeles, has been training for the upcoming season, something he never did before, helped coach a High School team this past fall and just welcomed a newborn child into the world.
As Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers famously said, “the waiting is the hardest part.” But as long as Bryant is a part of the black and gold in 2017, the waiting would be well worth it.