Over the course of the past several weeks, there have been a number of suggestions made from a variety of levels of reputation that the Pittsburgh Steelers should consider trading some of the seemingly abundant talent that they have at the wide receiver position. The most frequently cited name is Martavis Bryant, without whom they played the entirety of the 2016 season due to his indefinite suspension.
It wouldn’t pay, to put it bluntly. Just look at the sort of deals that the Ravens have gotten in their two player trades this offseason. They moved starting center Jeremy Zuttah and their sixth-round pick in exchange for a better sixth-round draft pick. Yesterday, they just traded starting defensive end and former second-round draft pick Timmy Jernigan plus their third-round pick for a better third-round pick.
They didn’t even actually net an additional draft pick. They moved players to move up in the third and sixth rounds, and are not absent two starters as a result. Don’t expect to find much of a better offer for Bryant and all of his baggage.
For starters, he is no even technically on an NFL roster right now because the ultimate fate of his application for reinstatement is seemingly still being decided, although there is hope that a decision will be arrived at within the next two weeks.
You might recall that the Steelers have actually dealt a troubled wide receiver before. Santonio Holmes was moved prior to the 2010 NFL Draft for a fifth-round pick. At the time, it was revealed that he would be serving a four-game suspension that year. He was also entering the final year of his rookie deal, and Pittsburgh likely would have balked at re-signing him, given his off-field issues.
Holmes was at that time a more accomplished player than Bryant, and the latter has already been suspended not one, but twice, including for an entire season. The only upside that he has in comparison to Holmes is that he has two years left on his contract.
But here is the reality of trying to trade a player that you want to trade: the same reasons that make you consider trading him are the same reasons that other teams will not give you a whole lot in compensation in exchange for him.
Bryant is one slip-up away from banishment, and aside from that he still has some things to work out in his craft. After a one-year layoff, it’s not even all that likely that he’ll simply pick up right where he left off.
Sammie Coates isn’t any more attractive an option. He has a five-game body of work to look at, and nobody really seems to know anything for sure about what the story is with his injured hand that sabotaged his sophomore year.
These are two of the Steelers’ top three or four wide receivers, at worst, who will all be making the roster and contributing substantially if everything goes right. Moving them for a late-round pick and lowering the overall quality of a very important group of players on the team just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.