Martavis Bryant-Pittsburgh Steelers rumors continue to make news around the NFL, but it still doesn’t answer the biggest questions that have come from the commissioner’s office this offseason. Bryant, a receiver for the Steelers, got suspended for the entire 2016 NFL season for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. It was presumed by many Steelers fans that he would allow Bryant to return for the 2017 season. That hasn’t happened yet. So when will the NFL reinstate Bryant?
A new report by NBC Sports discussed Martavis Bryant’s reinstatement, but also revealed some troubling information about the whole situation. The crux of the answer is that the NFL is under no obligation to make a quick ruling on the situation. Aldon Smith and Josh Gordon have each gone through the process before, revealing that there is no set deadline that Roger Goodell and his office has to work with. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the waiting period didn’t go very well for Gordon, who still remains on the NFL’s ineligible list.
There have been a lot of interesting Pittsburgh Steelers rumors this offseason, including LeVeon Bell’s surgery, Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement, and how the rest of the AFC North is still a mess. Despite all that, most Steelers fans have been more interested in hearing about Martavis Bryant’s reinstatement timetable. Getting Bryant back on the field opposite All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown could certainly help the Steelers a lot, making them a threat to repeat as divisional champions (again).
In 2017, Bryant’s contract will pay him a base salary of $690,000, while carrying a cap hit of $799,805 and a dead cap value of $109,805. That’s an extremely affordable deal for a starting receiver, showing how much of an asset he could be to the Steelers. If he can continue to produce, though, Bryant is going to get a very nice pay raise the next time free agency rolls around. For that to happen, he will first need the NFL commissioner to allow him back on the football field.
Martavis Bryant’s stats come from two NFL seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. In 2014 and 2015, Bryant compiled 76 total catches for 1,314 yards and 14 touchdowns. Those stats came in just 21 regular season games (eight starts), possibly showing how good he could be with a starting position if he could get fully healthy again. He was indeed a bit banged up during those first two seasons, but really showed what he could so in the 2016 NFL Playoffs.
Bryant put on a show in two postseason games for the Steelers during the NFL Playoffs in his second season. Starting both games against the Cincinnati Bengals and Denver Broncos, Bryant had 14 catches for 183 yards and a touchdown, as well as three rushes for 84 yards on the ground. Those 267 total yards from scrimmage were huge and showed what he might be able to do during the following NFL season. Then Bryant’s suspension derailed everything.
Can Martavis Bryant’s stats during the 2017 NFL season mirror what he was able to do in the 2016 NFL Playoffs? That’s certainly what fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers have been hoping, but the NFL has to first reinstate Bryant. Until that point, he won’t be able to make an impact on the field with Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown again. It’s a fluid situation that fantasy football owners should watch closely, as he could become a hot commodity, especially in such a wide-open offense as the one the Steelers are currently working with.
While there are a lot of NFL rumors about Bryant’s reinstatement and what hoops he might need to jump through to return to the league, the commissioner has been very quiet about any timetables. All Bryant and the Steelers can do is be patient and hope that he keeps from violating the league’s substance-abuse policy again. More Martavis Bryant-Pittsburgh Steelers rumors will likely come out over the next few weeks, but everything is still contingent on what Roger Goodell decides to do in this situation.
[Featured Image by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images]