Given the news of Martavis Bryant’s year-long suspension, the Steelers’ wide receiver is checking himself into a rehab for depression, according to his agent.
Tom Perlissero has the story over on USA Today with agent Brian Fettner telling him he – and the other agents that represent him – “miscalculated” Bryant’s drug habit and said it’s something Bryant uses as a coping mechanism.
Check out the link above for the full quotes from the agent. Fettner did indicate the suspension comes from not failing tests, but failing to show up for them. Of course, there’s a reasonable assumption that Bryant didn’t show up because he knew he was going to fail, making the specifics largely irrelevant, but it’s important to at least set the facts straight.
It would make sense of why Bryant’s suspension jumped from four to season-long, skipping the ten game ban set for a 5th failed test. Failure to show up can trigger a season-long suspension.
Bryant checked into a Houston rehab with John Lucas during his ban at the beginning of the 2015 season but clearly, the issues were not resolved. While drug habits and addition are serious, and getting Bryant healthy and his mind right is what is most important, it is also extremely disappointing to see him fail his teammates and coaches, who expected to and counted on Bryant being able to help this team win.
For Bryant, it’s a career that hangs in the balance. One of the most talented players on this roster, and that’s really saying something given how loaded it is, he was just beginning to etch his footprint on the team and the league. Still on his rookie deal, he’s only made just over $1.3 million in his football career, and that’s before taxes, likely meaning he has never officially made his first million in the league. He also has two daughters.
Now, he may never earn another dollar in the league and if the Steelers wanted to, they could go after some of his remaining signing bonus. They will get back the $600,000 in base salary owed to him this season, assuming he is not able to reduce his suspension, which seems unlikely, especially if he flat-out missed the test.
Who knows if he’ll ever play another down in the league again.
The potential was immense.
So is the disappointment.