Earlier this week a Twitter report suggested several teams, including the Miami Dolphins, Washington Redskins, New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts, had shown interest in Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant. Rumors were the Dolphins even were interested in a one-for-one trade with DeVante Parker.
(If you missed that report, you can check it out HERE.)
The one hold up regarding this report was the source. It wasn’t from an Adam Schefter or Jason La Confora. It wasn’t even Ian Rapoport. However, the reports of teams showing interest, and the Steelers listening, has hit the mainstream media.
This doesn’t necessarily mean the reports are true, or valid, but they are starting to cause some smoke. And usually where there is smoke, there is fire.
Recently, ProFootballTalk wrote about NFL Network’s reporting of the Steelers listening to offers for the talented, yet troubled, receiver.
The Steelers are now listening to potential deals for Bryant, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Bryant has undeniable talent and burst onto the scene as one of the best big-play threats in the NFL in his first two seasons, in 2014 and 2015. But he was suspended for the entire 2016 season for multiple violations of the league’s substance-abuse policy, and in 2017 he wasn’t as effective a player and got benched for a week when he griped about his role.
Bryant is under contract for 2018 at a base salary of just $705,000, so he’s a potential bargain if his head and his heart are in it. But if he’s an unhappy camper it’s also easy to see why the Steelers would be eager to get rid of him.
Last year at this time similar ideas were discussed, but the Steelers put a stop to those rumors stating they won’t be fielding any potential trade requests for Bryant. According to these reports, they are singing a different tune this offseason.
Bryant is still entering the final year of his rookie contract, the extra year due to his being suspended for the 2016 season, and the return would have to be right for Pittsburgh to part ways with a player whose potential has yet to be reached. However, lacking draft picks and having glaring needs on the defensive side of the ball could change a lot, when it comes to their attitude on Bryant.
Throw in Bryant’s off field issues, combined with the emergence of JuJu Smith-Schuster, and the team may feel replacing Bryant won’t be difficult. Things could certainly start heating up as the NFL Scouting Combine and NFL Draft quickly approach.
Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest on these rumors, as well as other news surrounding the black-and-gold.