Martavis Bryant

Deadline Fallout: Browns, Bills, Pats, Cards

The Browns made “small offers” for ex-Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo this season, but weren’t involved in talks for the New England backup before Bill Belichick & Co. traded him to the 49ers, tweets Michael Lombardi of the Ringer. Cleveland head coach Hue Jackson reportedly “pushed hard” for a quarterback addition during the offseason, but the Browns never offered anything close to the (likely early) second-round pick San Francisco sent to the Patriots, per Lombardi. Meanwhile, Belichick may have been reticent to “help” the Browns given his history with the club, sources tell Daniel Jerermiah of NFL.com (Twitter link).

Here’s more fallout from the extremely active trade deadline:

  • Before acquiring wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin from the Panthers, the Bills had interest in fellow pass-catcher Martavis Bryant, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (Twitter link). However, the Steelers never seemed to express any serious interest in dealing Bryant despite his off-field question marks. Ultimately, Buffalo shipped third- and seventh-round picks to Carolina for Benjamin, whom Bills general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott are familiar with given the pair’s time with the Panthers.
  • The Patriots made and received calls on offensive tackle Cameron Fleming prior to today’s deadline, tweets Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. New England was known to be “open for business,” so it come as no surprise that the club would entertain offers for Fleming, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2018. Given the dearth of offensive line talent around the league, the Patriots may have believed they could wrangle a pick package for their swing tackle. Fleming, 25, has played only seven snaps in 2017.
  • Every Cardinals defensive back aside from rookie Budda Baker was available today, per Lombardi (Twitter link), who is presumably referring to safeties given that Arizona isn’t going to trade cornerback Patrick Peterson. Veterans Antoine Bethea and Tyvon Branch — each of whom are over the age of 30 — would have made sense as trade candidates, while the Cardinals may have also attempted to rid themselves of Tyrann Mathieu‘s contract, although that’s entirely speculation.

Latest On Jarvis Landry, Martavis Bryant

Jarvis Landry and Martavis Bryant do not look to be going anywhere as the trade deadline nears. Despite the Dolphins unloading Jay Ajayi and the Steelers deactivating Bryant in Week 8, the AFC squads will be hanging onto two of the bigger names to be thrown into trade rumors this month.

Adam Schefter reports Landry will not be traded today, while NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport said the same for Bryant (Twitter links). A report earlier today indicated the Dolphins were willing to part with Landry for the right price, but either that price hasn’t materialized or the Fins are determined to hang onto their fourth-year slot starter.

Rapoport, though, adds other teams tried to pry Bryant away from the Steelers. But the build-from-within-based organization does not appear eager to budge from its proclamation of holding onto Bryant. Rapoport reports multiple teams called the Steelers about Bryant, but he’ll have to work things out with the coaching staff in order to get back on the field.

Landry’s in the final year of his contract, and no substantial negotiations have reportedly taken place. Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports Landry has not completely bought into the Adam Gase regime’s methods, and that may be causing friction between the sides. The Dolphins were once set to make a Landry extension a priority in the most recent offseason. The team is also anticipating a third- or fourth-round compensatory pick if Landry departs as a free agent, Salguero notes.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Broncos, Murray, Steelers, Hill

The Broncos are under .500 for the first time since October 2012 and have seen their aerial attack sputter this month. They are considering benching Trevor Siemian for Brock Osweiler, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). Osweiler was once ahead of Siemian in Denver’s pecking order prior to departing as a free agent, starting seven games in relief of Peyton Manning in 2015, but has seen his stock plummet considerably in between Broncos stays. Siemian, though, threw three interceptions against the Chiefs and has now thrown 10 this season — as many as he did in 14 games in 2016. Paxton Lynch would be the more logical choice for a longer-term change but has only practiced three times thus far. Still, if the Broncos’ losing streak continues — and games against the Eagles and Patriots loom the next two weeks — it would stand to reason Lynch could see the field soon for the lengthy audition he’s yet to receive.

Here’s the latest from the AFC on trade deadline day.

  • DeMarco Murray has heard “rumblings” he could be traded, Ed Werder tweets. This would be an obviously interesting move given the Titans‘ placement in the AFC South and wild-card races and their affinity for ground success under Mike Mularkey. Murray has no guaranteed money left on his through-2019 deal. The Cowboys are reportedly calling about running backs after Ezekiel Elliott‘s suspension was restored, and Werder notes Murray makes sense due to his All-Pro season for Dallas in 2014.
  • Martavis Bryant has been informed he’s going to be part of the Steelers‘ Week 10 game plan, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports, continuing to squelch the notion the mercurial pass-catcher could be traded today. The Steelers have said they are not trading the fourth-year wide receiver, one who has another season remaining on his rookie contract since it tolled while he was suspended. Fowler notes Pittsburgh could get blown away by an offer but doesn’t see a trade coming.
  • Steelers rookie cornerback Cameron Sutton returned to practice on Tuesday, the team announced. He remains on IR, and the Steelers have 21 days to activate the third-round pick. Pittsburgh has six cornerbacks on its active roster presently.
  • Jeremy Hill‘s contract year is not going especially well, and the Bengals running back made an agency switch, Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports (on Twitter). Hill will now be represented by Joel Segal and Greg Barnett, per Owczarski. The fourth-year ball-carrier has just 113 rushing yards on 37 carries. He profiles as a possible trade candidate due to Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard being signed long-term. Hill rushed for at least 790 yards in each of his first three NFL seasons, which would seemingly make him an intriguing free agent despite the role reduction this season.

Trade Rumors: Megatron, Bryant, Staley

We heard earlier today that the Seahawks are still trying to trade for a veteran left tackle, and they are willing to part with TE Jimmy Graham in order to facilitate such a deal. With the league’s trade deadline just two days away, let’s take a look at more trade rumors from around the league:

  • Two teams have called the Lions to discuss acquiring the rights to retired WR Calvin Johnson, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, and Detroit told those clubs to go ahead and reach out to the future Hall-of-Famer. However, Johnson has been noncommittal at best, so it does not seem as if he will change his decision to remain retired, which he reiterated just two months ago.
  • We learned yesterday that the Lions are shopping TE Eric Ebron, and according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Detroit is receiving inquiries from multiple teams about Ebron. Per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (Twitter link), Ebron has admitted that he could be dealt.
  • The Steelers are ignoring Martavis Bryant‘s trade request and plan to continue ignoring it, according to Albert Breer of SI.com, which makes it sound as if Pittsburgh is going to try and make things work with its disgruntled but talented wideout. However, that has not stopped contending teams from inquiring on Bryant, according to Rapoport (video link), who suggests that the Steelers are willing to at least listen to offers. The Patriots are one potential landing spot, as they discussed trading for Bryant prior to the draft.
  • The Eagles are another club looking for offensive line help at the deadline, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, who names the 49ers‘ Joe Staley as one possibility. Indeed, La Canfora writes in a separate pice that the 49ers are open to trading veterans like Staley, Carlos Hyde, and Eric Reid, but other teams say that the new regime in San Francisco values such players more highly than the market dictates, thereby making a deal unlikely.
  • Despite the fact that the Bills have jumped out to a surprisingly strong start, La Canfora says the team is still willing to move some of its veteran pieces. However, it has already been reported that Cordy Glenn and Anquan Boldin are available, and La Canfora does not add any other names to the list of Bills who could be on the move.
  • Per Schefter (via Twitter), the Colts are receiving inquiries on CB Vontae Davis, and they have been in talks with at least two clubs about the Illinois product.
  • John Reid of the Florida Times-Union says the Jaguars could look to trade RB T.J. Yeldon, but it is unclear whether there has been any movement on that front.
  • Because of the playing time that Chris Smith has received with the Bengals this season, the Jaguars will get a 2018 seventh-round pick from Cincinnati per the conditions of the trade the two clubs completed in April, as Mike Kaye of First Coast News tweets.

AFC Notes: Steelers, Bryant, Patriots, Belichick, Jaguars, Albert

Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant says that he wants to be traded if he doesn’t get targeted more. It sounds like quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has gotten the message.

Hopefully, it’s lots of touchdown passes,” Roethlisberger said (according to Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review). “We need to get the ball to him, to everybody, we all need to score points. There are opportunities there. That’s why I told him to come talk to me. We’ve had opportunities with deep balls that were just missed whether it was me overthrowing him or it’s the Chicago game where he slows down a little bit or this last game where he doesn’t see the ball coming out of my hand. There are plays to be had. We just have to make them.”

However, Roethlisberger will have to wait a while before lobbing passes in Bryant’s direction. On Wednesday, the Steelers informed the wide receiver that he will not be active for Sunday’s game against Detroit. After that, the Steelers have their bye week, so Bryant’s next opportunity to play will not come until Sunday Nov. 12 against Indianapolis.

  • The trade deadline is right around the corner and Patriots coach Bill Belichick says he’s not afraid to deal. “The thing about us, other teams in the league know that we’re open for business,” Belichick told WEEI. “We’re not afraid to make a trade. If they are interested in trading somebody, we are usually a team that gets called because people think and know we’re open on those discussions. If we’re not interested we will tell them we’re not interested. Again, there’s no book on that. Every situation is different. Every trade is different. Every exchange is different, so you just have to take them as they come and if the two sides can agree, great. Sometimes one side wants something and the other side is just not ready to get to the same point.” Teams have until Oct. 31 to make trades.
  • Before he was released by the JaguarsBranden Albert was asked to play guard since he was not going to win the left tackle job, Adam Caplan of SiriusXM tweets. When he declined, Albert was shown the door. Presumably, his contract demands and flip-flopping on retirement did not help his case.
  • On Wednesday, the Chargers shipped wide receiver Dontrelle Inman to the Bears.

Latest On Steelers’ Martavis Bryant

Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant was told by team brass that he should expect to be inactive on Sunday (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com). This comes on the heels of word that Bryant was practicing with the scout team on Wednesday (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler). Martavis Bryant (vertical)

When asked why he won’t be playing this weekend, Bryant told reporters (Twitter link) that it all stems from “social media.” Earlier this week, Bryant got into it with a fan on Instagram who asserted that teammate JuJu Smith-Schuster was the superior wide receiver.

“JuJu is no where near better than me, fool,” Bryant wrote. “All they need to do is give me what I want and y’all can have JuJu and whoever else.”

Of course, that social media spat came in the midst of Bryant’s very vocal dissatisfaction with his role in the offense. Bryant’s reps requested a trade earlier this month, but the Steelers say they will not part with him between now and the Halloween deadline.

For now, Bryant has been demoted in practice while Justin Hunter takes his reps.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Steelers: We Won’t Trade Martavis Bryant

Martavis Bryant is unhappy with his role in the Steelers’ offense, but the team says he’s not going anywhere. On Tuesday, coach Mike Tomlin told reporters that he is “not available” via trade, adding that the team has invested too much in Bryant to bail on him (Twitter link via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). Martavis Bryant (vertical)

Tomlin’s assertion comes just after Bryant made some very pointed comments to ESPN.com’s Josina Anderson (Facebook link). Bryant says that he hopes to make things work in Pittsburgh, but he also says that he needs to see an uptick in targets right away.

By the end of whenever the trade deadline is,” Bryant said when asked about his own personal deadline for a change in the offense. “I mean if things don’t get better, than I got to go.”

Bryant says that he wants to have a bigger role in offense, in part, because of his desire to support his family. Bryant will be eligible for free agency following the 2018 season.

I feel like it’s going to come down to whether we make changes or not, whether they try to include me more or not. If they don’t try to include me more and continue to do the same thing, then I want out period,” Bryant said. “I love my team. I love my brothers. I love being here. I love the city, but I have a family and everything going on now is about taking care of my family.

Regardless, the Steelers say they’re sticking with Bryant, even though he took the unusual step of calling out sick on Monday with an illness. The tentative plan is for Bryant to return to the Steelers for Wednesday’s meetings and practice, a source tells ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler (Twitter link).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Steelers WR Martavis Bryant

Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant — the subject of recent trade rumors — took to social media and responded to an Instagram user who claimed fellow Pittsburgh pass-catcher JuJu Smith-Schuster is the superior wideout, as Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com writes. Bryant, who has since deleted the post, “wants out” of Pittsburgh, a source tells Fowler.Martavis Bryant (vertical)

“JuJu is no where near better than me, fool,” Bryant wrote. “All they need to do is give me what I want and y’all can have JuJu and whoever else.”

Bryant, who is back in the NFL after being suspended for the entirety of the 2016 campaign, reportedly requested a trade last week, although he has since denied that ask. Either way, the Steelers don’t intend to deal Bryant, although he has struggled this season and is being phased out of the club’s offense in favor of Smith-Schuster. Bryant has manged only 234 yards and one touchdown in seven games, and he essentially rotated with Smith-Schuster in Sunday’s victory. Bryant finished with 36 offensive snaps, while Smith-Schuster — a second-round rookie — played 32.

“JuJu is the future and got great talent and is going to be one of the best to play this game,” Bryant wrote after deleting the original post. “I want him to get his. I just want mines, period, point-blank. Ain’t nobody did nothing to get me back. I worked my a– off to get myself back with no help and little support, period. In due time the process will show.”

Bryant didn’t show up for required team meetings Monday, tweets Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and one teammate said Bryant “called in sick.” Whether or not Bryant’s absence today is related to his ongoing situation within the offense is unclear, but the timing would certainly hint that the two are interconnected. Bryant’s agent says the wideout did in fact see a doctor today, however, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).

The Steelers don’t plan on disciplining Bryant for either today’s meeting or his comments on Smith-Schuster, as Bouchette writes in a full piece. And — reiterating previous reports to this effect — Pittsburgh “certainly” doesn’t intend to ship Bryant out of town via trade.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Steelers’ Bryant Denies Trade Demand

Martavis Bryant had only two catches on Sunday, but he found himself in the news when it was reported that he demanded a trade. Soon after, Bryant took to Twitter to say that he is “happy to be a Steeler.” On Monday morning, he specifically denied making a trade request (Twitter link via Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). Martavis Bryant (vertical)

There’s no way to know for sure whether Bryant’s camp did request a trade, but either way it sounds like things have been patched up between the two sides. Bryant’s main gripe was that his role has been downsized in the Steelers’ offense. Starting on Sunday’s game against the Bengals, we may see that change.

Bryant has shown the ability to pick up yards after the catch and at 6’4″ he is also able to pull down passes in the end zone, even in traffic. Between 2014 and 2015, Bryant had 14 touchdowns. Through six games this year, however, he has only one score.

Even if Bryant does push for a deal between now and the deadline, the Steelers do not seem inclined to trade him.

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Steelers Unlikely To Trade Martavis Bryant?

Martavis Bryant wants the Steelers to trade him. But that doesn’t mean they will. Early indications are that the Steelers do not plan on moving the wide receiver, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears. Martavis Bryant (vertical)

Bryant has been frustrated with the size of his role thus far in 2017. Still, the Steelers value him highly. Bryant has proven to be a valuable complement to Antonio Brown, as evidenced by his career 16.6 yards per catch average. Trouble is, he has only 17 catches for 231 yards and one score through six games this year. The 25-year-old (26 in December) is currently on pace for less grabs, yards, and TDs than he had in 2015, and he played in only eleven games that year.

The Steelers, who are now 4-2 after topping the Chiefs on Sunday, seem determined to move forward with Bryant, even if he has soured on them somewhat. Ultimately, Bryant’s trade demand could spark offensive coordinator Todd Haley and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to send more passes in his direction.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.