“However hard this may be, and although not the way I wanted to end my career, God has a funny way of timing things out in our lives,” Bryant’s statement reads. “Just before I got a chance to finish my career strong I was diagnosed with end stage renal failure.
Due to this I am forced to announce my official retirement from the sport I have eaten, breathed, slept, dreamt [sic] and loved for my entire life. But this isn’t the end. This is just the beginning of so much more that is coming. I have started a business with a woman I soon get to call my wife. And these opportunities we have together are endless.”
Bryant, 28, entered the league as a Browns seventh-round pick in 2013, and went on to appear in 31 games with Cleveland over the next three seasons. In 2016, Bryant was hit with the first of several suspensions (but his only performance-enhancing drug ban), and was subsequently waived by the Browns.
Claimed off waivers by the Lions, Bryant played in five games for Detroit, but also served two substance abuse suspensions during his time in the Motor City. After being cut by the Lions last October, Bryant hit the workout circuit, but failed to land a new contract until April, when he inked a one-year deal with the Raiders. After less than a month in Oakland (and presumably after he was diagnosed with severe kidney issues), Bryant was cut with a non-football illness designation.
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