Martavis Bryant

Martavis Bryant Unlikely To Play In 2020

Earlier this month, we heard that Martavis Bryant was set to apply for reinstatement. Over the weekend, Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) learned that the former Steelers and Raiders wide receiver has not actually submitted the paperwork. Bryant still hopes to play but RapSheet says there’s “more work to be done” and, therefore, it seems unlikely that Bryant will play this season. 

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Bryant, 27, has been seeking treatment for mental health issues, including ADHD. He’s been in hot water with the league office on multiple occasions over the years, including the 2016 season was that was wiped out by a substance-abuse ban. Last year, he “seriously angered” the NFL during his appeal process and he’s been critical of Roger Goodell‘s handling of players with mental health issues in the past.

At last check, Bryant was taking drug tests to prove his sobriety. In order to be reinstated, he’ll have to test clean, and continue to test clean over time.

The Raiders gave up the No. 79 overall pick in the 2018 draft to acquire Bryant from the Steelers. In eight games, Bryant caught 19 passes for 266 yards. Previous to that, Bryant notched 17 touchdowns in just 36 contests for the Steelers, while averaging 15.2 yards per catch. He’s a talented deep threat, but he’ll have to get his affairs in order before he can retake the field.

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Martavis Bryant Applies For Reinstatement

Suspended again for substance-abuse issues, Martavis Bryant filed for reinstatement on Monday, per Dan Graziano of ESPN.com. The former Steelers and Raiders wide receiver has been suspended since December.

The 27-year-old wide receiver has worked with the NFL and NFLPA on his mental health, with the league and the union aiding Bryant regarding therapists and ADHD treatment, Graziano adds. This the latest in a line of Bryant bans; he missed all of the 2016 season because of a substance-abuse suspension and had been sidelined for stints of previous seasons.

It is not certain, however, that Bryant will play again. The deep threat “seriously angered” the NFL during his appeal process last year. Another report indicated Bryant has been critical of the league’s limited assistance to players dealing with mental health issues. But he will attempt to convince Roger Goodell and Co. he has taken the necessary steps to return to the league. Bryant initially planned to apply for reinstatement in May, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter), but waited in order to attempt to take further steps toward self-improvement. Graziano adds that Bryant has submitted to drug testing over the past several months, and those tests have presumably come back clean.

The NFL green-lit a Josh Gordon return last year, only to watch him again succumb to the substance-abuse problems with which he’s frequently dealt. Substance abuse has sidetracked Gordon’s career more than Bryant’s, but the once-promising wideout saw his troubles interfere with his earning potential. Bryant (two 600-plus-yard seasons) did not make it to a point he could command a lofty receiver deal, being traded to the Raiders in the final year of his rookie contract and playing eight games last season (266 yards) under the cloud of another suspension.

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Latest On Suspended WR Martavis Bryant

We heard back in February that suspended wideout Martavis Bryant could apply for reinstatement this month. That’s apparently still the plan, as the receiver told ESPN’s Dan Graziano that he’s planning on applying for reinstatement in the coming weeks (Twitter link).

Bryant was banned indefinitely back in December after unsuccessfully fighting a substance abuse suspension. According to Graziano, the 27-year-old is now arguing that the league’s drug program “is not set up to offer players access to proper treatment for mental health issues.” Regardless of the argument’s merit, the receiver will presumably have to continue executing his treatment plan in accordance with the league’s wishes.

Furthermore, it’s uncertain if the NFL will be all that willing to let Bryant back into the league. Back in December, FanSided.com’s Jason Cole cited one league source who didn’t believe that Bryant “will ever play again.” The receiver reportedly “seriously angered” the NFL during his appeals process.

The 2014 fourth-round pick had previously served two suspensions during his stint with the Steelers: a four-game ban in 2015 and a season-long ban in 2016. He was conditionally reinstated by the league in April of 2017, and this most-recent ban was attributed to “violating the terms of his conditional reinstatement.”

The Raiders sent Pittsburgh a third-rounder during the 2018 draft to acquire Bryant, but the organization later learned that the wideout was facing this potential suspension. The Raiders ended up releasing the wideout at the end of the preseason, but they re-signed him to a one-year deal less than two weeks later. Bryant was allowed to play during the appeals process, and he proceeded to play in eight games for Oakland, hauling in 19 receptions for 266 yards and no touchdowns. The team placed the receiver on the injured reserve in early December after he suffered a knee injury.

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Josh Gordon, Martavis Bryant May Apply For Reinstatement By May

Suspended NFL wideouts Josh Gordon and Martavis Bryant may be able to apply for reinstatement by May, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link).

Both Gordon and Bryant are suspended — not banished — from the NFL, which, as Pelissero note,s in an important distinction given that banishment would have lead to a one-year minimum absence from the league. However, both pass-catchers’ suspensions are indefinite in nature, so there’s no clear timeframe on when they can attempt to re-enter the NFL.

Nevertheless, if both Gordon and Bryant execute their treatment plans in accordance with the league’s wishes, the NFLPA may begin to “lay groundwork” for returns in May, per Pelissero. Such a plan could could potentially put both players back on the field by training camp, something Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported — at least, in the case of Gordon — on Wednesday.

Gordon, whom the Patriots acquired at midseason from the Browns, is scheduled to become a restricted free agent next month, so New England will soon need to decide at what level it will tender the 27-year-old. Bryant, meanwhile, was traded from the Steelers to the Raiders during the draft, but was subsequently cut and re-signed in September. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent in March, but clearly shouldn’t be expected to find a new team until later this summer, at the least.

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Latest On Suspended WR Martavis Bryant

We learned yesterday that Raiders wideout Martavis Bryant had been suspended indefinitely by the NFL. While it was certainly possible for the 26-year-old to rehabilitate his image and return to the league, at least one individual believes the receiver has already played his final game in the NFL.

A source told FanSided.com’s Jason Cole that he doesn’t believe Bryant “will ever play again” (Twitter link). This might not necessarily be attributed to teams’ lack of interest; rather, Cole says the wideout “seriously angered” the NFL during the process. Bryant had previously been fighting a substance abuse suspension, but a lost appeal means that he’ll be banned until further notice.

The 2014 fourth-round pick had previously served two suspensions during his stint with the Steelers: a four-game ban in 2015 and a season-long ban in 2016. He was conditionally reinstated by the league in April of 2017, and this most-recent ban was attributed to “violating the terms of his conditional reinstatement” (via NFL.com’s Austin Knoblauch).

The Raiders sent Pittsburgh a third-rounder during the draft to acquire Bryant, but the organization later learned that the wideout was facing this potential suspension. The Raiders ended up releasing the wideout at the end of the preseason, but they re-signed him to a one-year deal less than two weeks later.

Bryant was allowed to play during the appeals process, and he proceeded to play in eight games for Oakland, hauling in 19 receptions for 266 yards and no touchdowns. The team placed the receiver on the injured reserve in early December after he suffered a knee injury.

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Raiders WR Martavis Bryant Banned By NFL

Raiders wide receiver Martavis Bryant has been suspended indefinitely by NFL, according to Michael Gehlken of the Review-Journal (on Twitter). Bryant has been fighting a substance abuse suspension for months, but a lost appeal means that he will be out of the game until further notice. 

The Raiders have feared this news for quite a while, though team execs have been mum on the subject. It’s fair to say the Raiders regret sending a third-round pick to the Steelers for Bryant earlier this year.

The Bryant trade occurred after the Raiders moved down from No. 10 for the Cardinals’ No. 15 pick, plus third- and fifth-round selections. That third-round choice was shipped to Pittsburgh, bringing Bryant to Oakland. UCLA tackle Kolton Miller has potential and may prove to be a quality first-round selection, but the Raiders effectively threw away a Top 100 selection when they acquired Bryant.

Before the deal, Bryant spent his entire four-year career with the Steelers. His tenure was tumultuous, as he missed the entire 2016 season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. The 26-year-old (27 next week) showed flashes of brilliance early on, including a rookie campaign where he caught eight touchdowns, but the red flags have been long apparent.

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Raiders Place Bryant, Nelson On IR

The season is already over for three Raiders players. Safety Reggie Nelson, wide receiver Martavis Bryant, and defensive end Shilique Calhoun have all been placed on IR, according to a club announcement. 

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Bryant, dubbed the “White Tiger” by coach Jon Gruden for his special ability and inability to stay on the field, appeared in only eight games this season, recording 19 catches for 266 yards and zero touchdowns. It was his weakest showing to date – even in his ten-game rookie campaign, Bryant managed 26 catches, 549 yards, and eight scores. Bryant is headed for free agency in March, but his PCL injury and mysterious suspension (or, non-suspension) for drug use will make him a tough sell on a multi-year deal.

Nelson’s season is through thanks to a shoulder injury suffered on Sunday against the Chiefs. The three-year captain’s season ends with 29 tackles and two interceptions in eleven games. The veteran is also headed towards free agency this offseason, but it’s not clear whether the 35-year-old will look to continue playing.

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Martavis Bryant Suffers Possible Torn PCL

Raiders receiver Martavis Bryant appears to have suffered a torn PCL, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). 

It’s been a weird 2018 season for Bryant, who was traded by the Steelers to the Raiders this offseason for a third round pick, then cut by Oakland, then re-signed. Bryant was originally cut because the team believed he was facing a potential season-ending suspension for another violation of the league’s substance abuse policy.

It was confirmed a couple of months ago that Bryant had indeed been suspended, but that the league was allowing him to play while he appealed, and there’s been no update since. Oakland’s coaching staff had been talking up the potential for Bryant to play a bigger role in the offense after the team traded Amari Cooper, so this is a big loss. Jordy Nelson was in and out of the game with a quad injury, so the Raiders’ receiving corp could be dangerously thin moving forward.

While Rapoport noted that while “the hope is he doesn’t end up needing surgery”, “Bryant is going to miss time.” At this point it looks like the Raiders are hoping to get him back at some point this season, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he’s done for the year.

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Martavis Bryant Permitted To Play During Appeal Of Suspension

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 CooperJordy NelsonSeth Roberts, and Brandon LaFell.

The Raiders take on the division-rival Broncos later this afternoon.

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AFC Notes: Raiders, Ravens, Bengals, Bills

The Raiders surprisingly re-signed wide receiver Martavis Bryant earlier this week after initially waiving him at final cutdowns, and head coach Jon Gruden is optimistic on Bryant’s chances to contribute, as Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area writes. “He’s in a good place right now,” Gruden said. “I think he’s healthy. I think he’s ready to go. We’re sold on that. We’ve been in contact with him since he has been away. I’ve said it before: when he’s right, he can be a difference maker and we’re hoping he can be one sooner rather than later.”

Bryant is reportedly facing a yearlong suspension after another alleged violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy, but he’s eligible to play until the league formally announces a ban. Indeed, Bryant is expected to suit up for the Raiders when they face the Broncos on Sunday. Bryant didn’t take any sort of pay cut to return to Oakland, as he’ll collect the same $1.907MM (prorated) salary he was originally due, tweets Tom Pelissero of NFL.com.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • Linebacker C.J. Mosley did not suffer any ligament damage in the Ravens‘ Thursday night loss to the Bengals, head coach John Harbaugh told reporters, including Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic (Twitter link). While Mosley may miss Baltimore’s Week 3 contest against Denver, Harbaugh doesn’t think Mosley is facing a long-term absence. For what it’s worth, the Ravens announced Mosley had a bone bruise when he left last night’s game. As Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com writes, Mosley has arguably become Baltimore’s most indispensable defender, so the Ravens will be hard-pressed to replace him for any period of time. Mosley, 26, is currently playing out the final year of his contract, but he hadn’t progressed on an extension with the Ravens as of July.
  • Elsewhere from Thursday night’s game, Bengals center Billy Price suffered a foot sprain, according to head coach Marvin Lewis (Twitter link via Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer). The injury doesn’t sound all that serious, as Lewis indicated he was “surprised” Price wasn’t cleared to return to Cincinnati’s eventual victory. Price, the 21st overall selection in this year’s draft, was part of a Bengals offensive line overhaul that also included the acquisition of left tackle Cordy Glenn. If Price is forced to miss action, he’ll be replaced by reserve Trey Hopkins, who started 12 games for Cincinnati in 2017.
  • The Bills will start first-round rookie Josh Allen at quarterback on Sunday after Nathan Peterman and the rest of Buffalo’s offense was thrashed by Baltimore in Week 1, leading Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com to examine whether deploying Allen this early in the season is the correct decision. Allen won’t be forced to face Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa, but the Los Angeles defense will certainly present a challenge for the Wyoming product.