Even though Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant was conditionally reinstated by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell just ahead of the 2017 NFL Draft, he’s still not back in town taking part in Phase Two of the team’s offseason program.
During a Tuesday interview on 93.7 the Fan, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert was asked about Bryant and if he’s met with the wide receiver since he was conditionally reinstated by the league.
“No, he’s not in town,” Colbert said. “We did speak to him once we were able to do that and once he gets in here we’ll visit and try to extend his career and give him the opportunity to have the type of career he could have.”
Colbert was then asked when he expects Bryant to finally make it to Pittsburgh and the Steelers general manager couldn’t say exactly when that would be.
“These guys are not obligated to be here,” Colbert said. “So, whenever they take care of the logistics of getting here and transferring back in and finding places to live and all that, that’s an individual by individual case. But at this time of the year we can’t mandate for those players to be here.”
Even though the Steelers knew Bryant was conditionally reinstated ahead of this year’s draft they still decided to address the wide receiver position early on by selecting USC product JuJu Smith-Schuster in the second-round. Colbert was asked Tuesday if the team possibly still being unsure if they can count on Bryant moving forward played a role in the team drafting a wide receiver as early as they did.
“Again, as I’ve said, until he’s [Bryant] here, because he still has to do some things within the league structure to make sure that he’s continuing on the right path, and all indications are he will, but again, in JuJu’s case, he was clearly the best player for us. Any time you pass on the best player, even though you have some pretty good players, including one great one at that position, you may regret it,” Colbert said.
“So, really, JuJu was someone we had our eye on and I can’t say we would have done it regardless of Martavis, but we wanted to add another solid player into that position and he also gives us something that really you don’t have and that’s the ability to make that contested test, because there will be times when Ben [Roethlisberger] just has to take a chance and get it close and hope that his receiver can make a play. JuJu’s displayed that ability in his college game and now we just hope it transfers to the pros.”