Although we have not heard an official announcement from the NFL, it appears that Raiders WR Martavis Bryant has indeed been handed a one-year suspension for allegedly violating the league’s substance-abuse policy (we heard last week that Bryant was facing such a ban). However, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com writes that Bryant has appealed the suspension, and the NFL will allow him to play until it makes a decision on the appeal.
Just two days after we learned that Bryant was staring at another suspension, the Raiders re-signed the talented but troubled receiver, whom they cut on September 1. Oakland, which traded a third-round pick to the Steelers to acquire Bryant during this year’s draft, would like to get something of a return on its investment, and ESPN’s Dan Graziano tweets that the Raiders were comfortable with bringing Bryant back into the fold because it will take a little while for the NFL to rule on his appeal (it also helps that Bryant’s contract pays him on a week-to-week basis).
The appeal is expected to be heard within the next couple of weeks, which could buy Bryant a few games on the Raiders’ roster. Of course, if the appeal is resolved in Bryant’s favor, he could spend the entire year on the roster, which would go a long way towards getting his NFL career back on track.
Schefter reports that Bryant’s camp is confident in his chances to win the appeal, and Graziano says Bryant has retained New York attorney Peter Ginsberg to represent him in the process. For now, Bryant will slot into a receiver group that includes Amari Cooper, Jordy Nelson, Seth Roberts, and Brandon LaFell.
The Raiders take on the division-rival Broncos later this afternoon.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.