The 2016 season is unfortunately over, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are now embarking upon their latest offseason journey, heading back to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, formerly known and still referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility of Heinz Field. While the postseason is now behind us, there is plenty left to discuss.
And there are plenty of questions left unanswered as well. The offseason is just really the beginning phase of the answer-seeking process, which is lasts all the way through the Super Bowl for teams fortunate enough to reach that far.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the offseason as they develop, and beyond, looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they try to navigate their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.
Question: Will the Steelers get an answer or indication on Martavis Bryant’s situation in time for the draft?
Today is Easter Sunday. April 16. The Steelers and most of the league officially report for Phase One of the offseason program on April 17. Monday. So at this point it’s pretty safe to say that the Steelers are not going to have wide receiver Martavis Bryant back in the fold in time for that, answering one of my previous questions that I asked several weeks ago.
Now the question is, with the 2017 NFL Draft just 11 days away, is the league going to supply the Steelers with an answer, either formally or informally, about Bryant’s status in time? Because the answer to that question could have serious implications on their draft priorities and how they stack the wide receiver position up against other positions of need.
Pittsburgh still has more questions than answers at the position, but they are hoping Bryant will be one of those answers. Even if he is reinstated, of course, they will have to practice caution, considering that he is just a step away from banishment.
Bryant recently visited the league’s headquarters in New York, but not to interview with the commissioner or one of his representatives, instead being informed that he still has a bit more work to do. The second interview must still take place before a decision can be handed down, so that is the next thing that we are waiting to see.
The 2014 fourth-round draft pick is currently serving an indefinite suspension for violation of the league’s substance abuse policy, his second suspension in as many seasons, which makes him subject to harsher punishment upon a relapse. His limbo status leaves the Steelers in the same position heading into the draft—unless, of course, this can all get wrapped up in the next week and a half.