The one thing which trumps all in the NFL is talent. You have to do something ridiculously stupid off the field for a top tier player to have their owners turn their backs on them.
Just look at recent history as an indicator on what is considered tolerable, and how talent trumps all.
Ray Rice and his domestic violence issue off the field was too much for any NFL team to take a chance on the former Pro Bowl running back. The same could be said for Cedrick Wilson of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who was released after a domestic situation, but the team stood behind James Harrison when his own off-field issues arose this same offseason.
This is also why the team stood behind Martavis Bryant when he was suspended for the entire 2016 season after repeatedly violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Some might suggest the Steelers would be fine without Bryant, but they weren’t fine in 2016, and are already getting a glimpse of what they missed during the offseason workouts.
The player who probably noticed his return the most? Try Ben Roethlisberger, who states Bryant is already picking up where he left off, and learning things he missed in 2016.
“Good — learning some of the stuff we put in last year he didn’t know about, remembering things that we had in before. He looks like a stud, as usual, so we’re excited for him to be on the field this year and help us out.” Roethlisberger told Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Bryant has seemed as dedicated as he ever has, posting crazy workout videos this offseason, and not missing any workouts this offseason, but there still is a lot of trust which needs to be mended throughout the season.
“Well, I think it’s just proving to us he can be out there all season. We need him all year, so I think that’ll be big for us.” Roethlisberger continued.
Bryant, and his teammates, can say all the right things, but the fact of the matter is until Bryant doesn’t just get on the field, but stays on the field, every fan could justifiably have a bit of anxiety over Bryant’s current, and future, status with the Steelers.