The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Martavis Bryant back in 2014 in the 4th round. At the time, he seemed to be a steal. He was going to be another great Steelers wide receiver and when he was on the field, he showed why that was possible.
The problem, however, was he was off the field due to suspensions about as much as he was on. He was unable to control his addiction and straighten up. He was suspended for the first four games of his second season in 2015 and then for the entire 2016 season. Upon his return in 2017, he proceeded to create problems for the Steelers by venting publicly about his lack of playing time, calling out JuJu Smith-Schuster, demanding a trade, and skipping mandatory meetings.
Following the 2017 season, Bryant was subsequently traded to the Oakland Raiders. He underperformed in camp and was cut before the season started yet was signed back to the team 10 days later. After a mediocre output, Bryant was suspended again by the NFL, this time indefinitely for a third violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy.
Three strikes and you’re out, right?
Well, perhaps not, Bryant has asked the NFL for reinstatement for the 2020 season. Given Roger Goodell’s track record, Bryant will be allowed back into the league. And this is where Steelers fans seem to be stepping in. For some reason, many fans have been clamoring for the black and gold to bring Bryant back to the Steel City. For some reason, fans think that Bryant is going to have things straight in his life and will fly right, be a superstar and put the Steelers offense over the top.
To all of those fans, I implore you to stop the nonsense. It’s a ridiculous notion. I don’t care that he can be had on the cheap. Do you think the Steelers want to bring back a guy who burned them with two suspensions, skipped mandatory meetings, and called out their young budding star in Smith-Schuster? Do you think they need that headache? The Steelers and Mike Tomlin, who is a top 10 coach in the NFL, have learned from the Le’Veon Bell drama and the Antonio Brown disaster and they will not go down a path of bringing back troubled players, they’re too smart to do that.
It’s always nice to dream of ‘what could be’ or ‘what could have been’ but the Steelers have their roster set. They have a good young corps at wide receiver and they know what Bryant is off the field, and that’s a far bigger risk than the reward he would ever bring on it.