Probably not a shock to any Pittsburgh Steelers’ fan reading this but important to note nonetheless. Expect 2018 to be Martavis Bryant’s final year in the Burgh. That comes from Jeremy Fowler, who didn’t offer an official “report” but a well-informed opinion about the relationship between the two.
“Pittsburgh hasn’t made any overtures on a modest bridge contract, in part because they aren’t sure what they’ll get from him and also because Bryant doesn’t have plans to sign,” he writes. “He’s made clear he wants to be a No. 1 receiver, and that has to happen elsewhere.”
Although the relationship has been mended from the mess it was mid-season, where Bryant criticized JuJu Smith-Schuster and got suspended a game because of it, it’s clear Bryant isn’t happy playing second – and now, probably third – on the Steelers’ WR depth chart. He’s not going to be a feature piece in the offense with all the talent that exists. There’s every reason to believe he’ll move on in search of a #1 job after the 2018 season.
Though it seems more like speculation, Fowler floated out the idea that Bryant could skip work in the spring to prove a point to the team.
Fowler turns the thought process into the rumors and “reports” of Bryant getting dealt.
“A late-second-rounder or low-third could help the Steelers — who have been brilliant drafting receivers for much of the last decade — identify a new vertical threat. Perhaps the Buffalo Bills, who were trying to get involved last year, could oblige.”
A second or third round pick would be nice but an unlikely haul for Pittsburgh to get. Bryant is too risky off the field with his antics and suspension history and the realization there’s just one left on his contract.
As Fowler concludes, and I agree, the best course of action is to let Bryant play out this season in Pittsburgh, hopefully perform at a high level, help the team win, and let him hit the open market. With how well the team has drafted receivers, he can be replaced.