While several of us hope and believe that Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant will ultimately be reinstated by commissioner Roger Goodell in the very near future, the league has now reportedly refuted a Wednesday report by The Beaver County Times that such a ruling is “imminent.”
Following up on his Wednesday “imminent” report on Bryant, Chris Bradford wrote on Thursday that a league spokesman has said that “there is no update nor timeline” for Bryant to be reinstated back into the NFL after being suspended for the entire 2016 season due to multiple violations of the league’s substance abuse policy.
Bradford then proceeded to post excerpts from the NFL’s Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse that are pertinent to Bryant’s case as a Stage 3 banishment and you can read those below:
Throughout the offseason the Steelers have indicated that they don’t know for sure what the future holds for Bryant and in essence that they can’t count on him moving forward. That’s certainly understandable given Bryant’s history. With that said, Bryant has given every outward indication that he’s now walking a straight line right now and is readying himself for a 2017 return.
One would think and hope the Steelers will at least know whether or not Bryant will be reinstated ahead of the 2017 NFL Draft taking place and that event is now four weeks away as of Thursday. However, even if Bryant is reinstated ahead of the draft, the Steelers still might decide to address the wide receiver position with one of their eight currently scheduled selections even though they signed wide receiver Justin Hunter to a one-year free agent contract a few weeks ago.
For now, all we can do is sit and wait for Goodell to make his decision on Bryant and move forward with the assumption that it isn’t “imminent.”
Criteria: After the completion of the one-year banishment period, the Commissioner, in his sole discretion, will determine if and when the Player will be allowed to return to the NFL. A Player’s failure to adhere to his Treatment Plan during his banishment will be a significant consideration in the Commissioner’s decision. A Player seeking reinstatement also must meet certain clinical requirements as determined by the Medical Director and other requirements as set forth in Appendix B.
Procedures for Reinstatement Following Stage Three Banishment
Any Player who has been banished under Stage Three may apply formally in writing for reinstatement no sooner than 60 days before the one-year anniversary date of the letter so banishing him.
The application should include all pertinent information about the Player’s:
(b) Abstinence from Substances of Abuse throughout the entire period of his banishment;
(c) Involvement with any Substances of Abuse related incidents; and
(d) Arrests and/or convictions for any criminal activity, including Substances of Abuse-related offenses.
Set forth below are the procedures to be used when an application is received by the Commissioner.
1. Within 45 days of receipt of the application, the Player will be interviewed by the Medical Director and the Medical Advisor, after which a recommendation will be made to the Commissioner with regard to the Player’s request for reinstatement.
2. The Player will execute appropriate medical release forms that will enable the Commissioner’s staff and NFLPA Executive Director’s staff to review the Player’s substance abuse history, including but not limited to attendance at counseling sessions (individual, group and family); attendance at 12-step and other self-help group meetings; periodic progress reports; and all diagnostic findings and treatment recommendations.
3. The Player will submit to urine testing by an NFL representative at a frequency determined by the Medical Advisor.
4. The Player will agree in a meeting with the Commissioner or his representative(s) to comply with the conditions imposed by the Commissioner for his reinstatement to the status of an active Player.
5. All individuals involved in the process will take steps to enable the Commissioner to render a decision within 60 days of the receipt of the application.