In what could be the final chapter of WR Martavis Bryant’s professional career, the CFL Edmonton Elks released him today, the team announced in a press release.
“Bryant signed with the Elks in February of this year. The former NFL receiver’s rights were owned by the Toronto Argonauts in 2021, where he spent the season on the club’s suspended list after not reporting to training camp.”
Bryant never appeared in a game for the team. He was signed by the Elks on February 28th. It was the second CFL team to sign him after the Argonauts did in 2021, but as the press release notes, Bryant never reported to Toronto and was placed on the team’s suspension list. It’s unclear why he did not report.
Bryant’s last snaps of organized football came with the Indoor Football League as part of the Massachusetts Pirates. Here’s one clip of him finding the back of the end zone in a game against Louisville.
Bryant only appeared in that one game the entire season, catching a pair of passes for 31 yards.
After a failed reinstatement bid in 2019, there were conflicting reports during the 2020 summer over if Bryant had again applied for NFL reinstatement. But despite having interest from the NFL, Bryant reportedly never went through with it. Now hardly playing football in years and now 30 years old, it’s likely his football days are done. The only scenario in which he returns is if he requested a release from the Elks to try to get back into the league. But right now, there’s no sign of that.
Bryant was drafted by the Steelers in the fourth round of the 2014 draft. Blessed with a rare combination of height, weight, and speed that translated to the field, he routinely made big plays in the then-potent Steeler offense. As a rookie, he averaged over 21 yards per catch, including a 94-yard touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals. But he struggled to stay on the field. He was twice suspended as a member of the Steelers, including a 2016 season-long ban. Pittsburgh flipped him to the Oakland Raiders for a third-round pick. They released him at the end of the summer but brought him back midseason before the league handed down an indefinite suspension in December of 2018.
In his NFL career, Bryant caught 145 passes for 2,183 yards and 17 TDs. And he’s almost certainly caught his last pass.