The Pittsburgh Steelers received great news that wide receiver, Martavis Bryant, has been reinstated by the NFL.
Well, even with good news, the Steelers’ NFL Draft plans should stay on the side of caution. Yes, they got Bryant back. Yes, he looks to be on the right path. Yes, his track record shows he’s not someone you can trust to stay out of trouble.
We’ve seen this before. Bryant has never shown he’s turning his behavior around, but he has gone quiet after dealing with trouble. So, like any bad egg, you need to be weary of how “on the right path” a player is before you begin acting like he’s okay.
Steelers general manager said it best when the released a statement, “We appreciate that he has taken the necessary steps in an effort to get his personal life in order. We also understand this is just the beginning as he works to return to the team and meet all of the conditions of his reinstatement.”
Everyone is excited to hear about Bryant’s reinstatement, but not totally sold on it just yet. He’s only been “conditionally” reinstated meaning – he will be reevaluated prior to the start of the 2017 season and then again during the 2017 season. This means he has two more steps, both of which are a few months away before he’s 100% out of trouble.
On Thursday, Friday, or even Saturday, the Steelers are going to come to a point where they’re thinking wide receiver. When that time comes, they need to go with the safe route and pick one. There’s no time to pass up on a player then two months down the road find out Bryant is going to miss more time.
It isn’t like it doesn’t happen. Players who have prior off the field issues usually find themselves with more later in their career. For some, it’s years down the road, for others, it’s immediate. Looking at Bryant’s past at Clemson, there is a chance a conditional reinstatement turns into another suspension.
Don’t play it too safe, obviously. There wasn’t any reason to draft a wideout in the first three rounds before Bryant was reinstated and there is certainly no reason to now. The Steelers just need to be prepared to look for guys like Isiah Ford, Robert Davis, or Kenny Golladay on Day 3.
This is not a “GO DRAFT A WIDE RECEIVER MARTAVIS BRYANT IS GOING TO GET IN TROUBLE AGAIN” testament. Right now, Bryant is back in the NFL (conditionally. Sorry couldn’t help myself) and the Steelers should act like it. But the should have a backup plan.
Yes, that’s what I’m trying to say – approach the NFL Draft as a backup plan in case something happens. Then, either way, the Steelers are looking at a well-rounded receiving core for 2017.
So, there you have it. Martavis Bryant is back, and the Steelers offense is looking better than ever. Nothing’s guaranteed, though. Remember that.