Now that the suspension is official and Martavis Bryant has decided against an appeal, the Pittsburgh Steelers have begun to acknowledge the one-year ban. After producing a very short statement as a team, Kevin Colbert released a statement regarding the situation. It was sent out by head of public relations Burt Lauten.
“We are very disappointed that Martavis Bryant has put himself in this current situation of being suspended by the League. He is at a crossroads of his professional life, and he needs to understand significant changes need to occur in his personal life if he wants to regain his career as a Pittsburgh Steeler. We are hopeful that Martavis will take the necessary steps to develop the discipline in his personal life to become a successful player and a good teammate.”
Colbert is keeping the door open for a Bryant return, though we are far away from even entertaining the idea. It will depend on what Bryant does during his suspension and how he responds personally and professionally. Bryant is almost certain to land on the team’s reserve/suspended list and be there for the 2016 season.
Assuming he is reinstated, and Roger Goodell has not always offered a swift, easy path, the team can decide on Bryant’s future in the 2017 offseason. Remember, the Steelers traded away Santonio Holmes to the New York Jets after his being suspended for the first month of the 2010 season. It could be tougher to trade Bryant but the overall point is the Steelers no longer had interest in working with players who had habitual problems with drugs.
If this is Bryant’s final game with the Steelers, he’ll finish it with 1314 yards, and 14 TDs over 21 career regular season games.