In a turn from a few months ago, it appears as if Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant wants to return to his team in 2018. Coming off a stunning defeat at the hands of the Jaguars in the AFC Divisional round, the 26-year-old expressed that he has now moved away from trade demand that he made back in October, reports Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
The former 2014 fourth round pick should’ve been eligible for free agency this offseason, but he’ll remain under contract for one more year after he sat out the entire 2016 season due to suspension. Bryant’s desire to be moved before the trade deadline stemmed from rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster‘s increased role in the offense. However, Bryant expressed doubt that he would want to leave the only team he’s ever known because of the track record that Pittsburgh has for winning.
“What’s changed from mid season? For one, Bryant acknowledges it would be hard to start over and wants to win a Super Bowl here,” tweeted Fowler.
The change of heart should be refreshing for an organization that is about to undertake a rough contract negotiation with free agent running back Le’Veon Bell. But with Ben Roethlisberger saying he’ll return in 2018, the Steelers need all the weapons they can get if they hope to bounce back in the playoffs a year from now. Aside from Bell, Mike Tomlin‘s offense is set to return every starter from this past season.
Bryant was inconsistent for most of this season, catching 50 balls for just over 600 yards and three scores. All of which marked the lowest totals in his three seasons in the NFL.
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