In the latest “What the...” moment with the Pittsburgh Steelers, disgruntled wide receiver Martavis Bryant, who publicly stated he wanted out of Pittsburgh at season’s end, has had a change of heart.
Yes, rather than wanting to force the team’s hand by holding out and requesting a trade, Bryant told reporters in the team’s “locker clean out” media session that he wants to return.
“Yes, of course,” Bryant told Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “They stuck with me through my whole process, and I had a great year this year. I didn’t play the best, but it got better each game, and I look to build on it for next year.”
So, what exactly changed with Bryant? He wants to win a Super Bowl.
“Just bring another trophy here, I just want to win,” Bryant said. “I love the guys here, love the coaches. I don’t feel like starting that chemistry over again when you go to another team.”
Bryant is right, but he is probably also getting some intelligent advice, for once, from his representatives. The truth of the matter is the Steelers still hold control over Bryant for another year. The only way he was getting out of town was via trade, and the Steelers wouldn’t profit nearly enough in return for how much they truly value Bryant. After all, which team is going to part with a significant player, or a high draft pick, for a freak wide receiver who is just one bad urine test away from his NFL career going the way of Josh Gordon’s.
Not many would be buying that stock. Instead, Bryant can stay with Pittsburgh, be a good teammate, stay clean and then would have a better chance at hitting a bigger pay day via free agency than with a trade.
Bryant could still be traded, and although unlikely, his plan is simple — show up at OTAs and prove his worth to the team and the coaches, something he couldn’t do in 2017 while still being reinstated from the NFL league office.
“All I can do is get better this offseason, come back at OTAs and show them that I deserve it more and just go from there. It’s a long offseason, got a lot of work to do. The work will be done, and I’ll be better next season.”
For the Steelers, the best-case scenario in this deal is if Bryant not only comes back, but picks up where he left off after a better second half of the season, compared to the first half of the year.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the big time decisions the team will face this offseason. Be sure to stay with BTSC for all the latest and greatest surrounding the black-and-gold.