Former Steelers receiver goes in first round of XFL Draft

Martavis Bryant Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Martavis Bryant Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

Martavis Bryant is years removed from his tenure with the Pittsburgh Steelers but has finally found a new home — this time in the XFL. 

After being disbanded when COVID struck in 2020, the XFL is starting back up again. On Wednesday, they held their player draft, and a former Pittsburgh Steelers star made headlines for being the fifth overall pick by the Vegas Vipers. That player is wide receiver, Martavis Bryant.

As you know, Bryant had been in and out of football, and his lengthy suspension history and failed drug tests eventually forced him out of the NFL. Though he was drafted by Pittsburgh in the 4th round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Byrant’s NFL career was shortlived and he would play his last game in December of 2018 with the Raiders prior to receiving an indefinite suspension.

Though Bryant appealed, this was ultimately the end of his NFL career. From there, Bryant had a short stint in the CFL with the Toronto Argonauts and the Edmonton Elks. He also spent a brief period of time with the Massachusetts Pirates in the IFL and the FCF Beasts in the Fan Controlled League. Now he has officially been selected in the first round of the XFL Draft.

What could have been with Steelers and Martavis Bryant

There’s no sense in dwelling on the past, but I think Martavis Bryant could have been a special player for a long time for the Pittsburgh Steelers. At nearly 6’4”, you just didn’t see many receivers move the way that he did. His long strides allowed him to effortlessly pull away from defensive backs in the open field.

As a result, Martavis proved to be one of the best deep threats in the league early in his career. Unfortunately, this didn’t last long. Despite exploding onto the scene for the Steelers as a rookie, Bryant would miss time in each of his first two seasons in Pittsburgh before missing the entire 2016 season due to a suspension. In the final season of his contract, Bryant was traded to the Raiders for a third-round pick.

In his first 21 games with the Steelers, Bryant recorded 1,314 yards and 14 touchdowns before his career was derailed by suspensions, according to ESPN stats. Now at age 30, Bryant will look to give it one more shot as a member of the XFL.

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Talent was never the issue; it was a matter of availability. It will be interesting to see if the former Pittsburgh Steelers weapon can do anything in this new league.