Although the Bills ultimately acquired wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin at the 2017 trade deadline, they were also targeting another pass-catcher last season. Buffalo attempted to “get involved” in talks for Steelers wideout Martavis Bryant, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com.
Given their level of interest last year, it’s conceivable the Bills could circle back and try to initiate talks with the Steelers again this year. However, it’s unclear whether Pittsburgh has any intention of trading Bryant, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract. While Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com recently reported the Steelers aren’t shopping Bryant, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com indicated Pittsburgh is listening to offers and will likely discuss the 26-year-old pass-catcher at the combine.
Bryant has caused conflicting reports in the past, especially when it comes to his trade value and availability: last year, for example, Bryant may or may not have requested a Pittsburgh exit. But after the season, Bryant said he wanted to return to the Steelers in 2018.
Buffalo, meanwhile, still boasts one of the NFL’s least inspiring wide receiver units even after picking up Benjamin last season. Benjamin isn’t guaranteed his 2017 salary and could still be released, but if he returns, he’ll join last year’s second-round pick, Zay Jones, as the Bills’ top two wideouts. Buffalo also has five pass-catchers — including Deonte Thompson and Jordan Matthews — scheduled to hit free agency next month.
Last year, Bryant matched a career-high with 50 receptions, although he only managed 12.1 yards per reception (he’d posted 17.3 yards per catch during his first two years with the Steelers). Bryant was above-average in terms of efficiency, however, as Football Outsiders ranked him 37th among 86 qualifiers in DVOA, which measures value on a per-play basis.
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