Steelers Nation was shocked last weekend when news broke out about a star wide receiver’s year-long suspension.
Steelers receiver Martavis Bryant had already served a four-game suspension at the beginning of the 2015 season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Now he’s facing a year-long suspension for multiple violations of the policy including missed tests and additional positive tests.
Bryant accepted his suspension and withdrew his appeal last week. The Steelers gave a statement via GM Kevin Colbert with a stern message that Bryant needs to get his life in a place where he can take the responsibility of being a Pittsburgh Steeler seriously.
On Monday, Bryant broke his silence on the matter and apologized for his actions to the Steelers organization and the fans. Aaron Wilson of National Football Post got Bryant’s apology which included a promise to commit himself to making it right.
His comments can be found on National Football Post and here’s a snippet of Bryant’s words.
"“I look forward to resuming my NFL career next year, and I promise to come back strong. Playing in the NFL is a privilege that I respect and my future actions will reflect just how seriously I take this game and the honor that it is to be a part of this league. Please respect my privacy and my family’s privacy during this difficult time. I will have no further comment at this time.” – Martavis Bryant"
Whether or not Steelers fans buy this apology doesn’t really matter. The Steelers aren’t going to cut him as it’s not in their best financial interest to do so. His salary this season was only $600K, which he won’t get and he’ll actually owe them a little less than $110K as part of his pro-rated signing bonus he’s required to pay back to the team for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Will Steelers fans welcome Bryant back with open arms once he returns? That’s the mystery. We’ve seen how productive he can be and the monstrous talent he adds to the offense but we’ve also seen him miss now 20 games for violating a policy he knows can cost him his career.
In my opinion it would take Bryant playing at least a full season without incident for fans and the team to develop a level of trust with him again.
What do you think Steeler Nation? Are you buying Bryant’s apology?