Martavis Bryant

WR Martavis Bryant Still Eyeing NFL Gig

Martavis Bryant isn’t planning to hang up his cleats. The wide receiver is still hoping to catch on with a team for the 2024 campaign, and the veteran believes he can still be productive if given the chance.

“I got a lot of football left,” Bryant told Queen City News (via Josh Alper of “Still love the game, never stopped loving the game. I had to take some time to reflect on myself and get my situation straight off the field. I did that. I put in a lot of work. There’s still so much left I can do. I know I can contribute to somebody that wants to give me the opportunity.”

Bryant’s five-year banishment from the NFL came to an end last November when he was reinstated by the league. He subsequently caught on with the Cowboys practice squad, but he didn’t earn a promotion to the 53-man roster during the 2023 campaign. Despite signing a reserve/futures contract with Dallas at the beginning of the offseason, Bryant was squeezed off the offseason roster in May following the Cowboys’ acquisition of several rookie wideouts.

The receiver had a workout with the Commanders back in May, but no deal materialized. Bryant also told the Queen City News that he met with Panthers senior assistant Jim Caldwell at a recent event, but it’s uncertain if the two sides had significant talks about a deal.

The wideout quickly made a name for himself with the Steelers after being selected in the fourth round of the 2014 draft. He hauled in 14 touchdowns through his first two seasons in the NFL (plus another two playoff scores) before being sidelined for the entire 2016 campaign thanks to his second career suspension. He topped 600 yards following his return in 2017, but the Steelers quickly traded him off to the Raiders for a third-round pick.

He got into eight games with Oakland before being hit with his most-recent suspension in 2018. Between that initial suspension and his 2023 comeback attempt with the Cowboys, Bryant spent time in a handful of alternative leagues, including stints in the CFL and XFL. While Bryant has been staying active in recent years, there’s no hiding the fact that he hasn’t gotten into an NFL game since the 2018 campaign. With 2024 representing his age-33 season, Bryant’s hopes of an NFL return will soon run dry.

Commanders To Host WR Martavis Bryant

After getting cut by the Cowboys last week, Martavis Bryant will work out for a division rival. According to Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 in Houston, the Commanders will work out the veteran wide receiver tomorrow.

[RELATED: Cowboys To Release WR Martavis Bryant]

Bryant’s five-year ban from the NFL ended last November when the wide receiver was reinstated by the league. He subsequently caught on with the Cowboys practice squad but never made his way to the big-league roster. He signed a reserve/futures contract with the organization in January, but he was released shortly after the Cowboys added three rookies to the position.

The wideout burst onto the scene with the Steelers after being selected in the fourth round of the 2014 draft. He hauled in 14 touchdowns through his first two years in the NFL (plus another two playoff scores) before being sidelined for the entire 2016 campaign thanks to his second career suspension. He topped 600 yards following his return in 2017, and the Steelers quickly sent him to the Raiders for a third-round pick.

He got into eight games with Oakland before being hit with his most-recent suspension in 2018. Between that initial suspension and his 2023 comeback attempt with the Cowboys, Bryant spent time in a handful of other leagues, including stints in the CFL and XFL.

While Commanders head coach (and former Cowboys defensive coordinator) Dan Quinn didn’t deal with Bryant directly in Dallas, he did get an extended look at him at Cowboys practice. If the 32-year-old catches on with the Commanders, he’d have an uphill battle to make the active roster. Still, the team does lack experienced depth behind Terry McLaurin. Former first-round pick Jahan Dotson and third-round rookie Luke McCaffrey will likely take up two spots, but Bryant could compete with the likes of Dax Milne, Dyami Brown, Jamison Crowder, and Olamide Zaccheaus for a job.

Cowboys To Release WR Martavis Bryant

Bringing in Martavis Bryant as a flier who could potentially help as a supporting-caster late last season, the Cowboys never ended up activating the ex-Steelers starter.

Despite signing the formerly suspended wideout in early November, the Cowboys ultimately did not view Bryant as ready to contribute. The team gave Bryant a reserve/futures contract in January, but’s Tom Pelissero notes the team is releasing him Wednesday.

[RELATED: Cowboys To Meet With WR Zay Jones]

Bryant’s stock has not approached the level that once featured him being traded for a third-round pick, as the 6-foot-4 weapon has not played in a regular-season game since 2018. But Pelissero adds other teams have shown interest. While it would not necessarily surprise to see Bryant given another opportunity, he is running out of time to reignite his NFL career at age 32.

The NFL reinstated Bryant from a yearslong suspension on November 4, 2023. This came years after the NFL loosened its drug policy — which led Bryant out of the league in the late 2010s — to cut down on suspensions for non-PED offenses. The 2010s featured harsher punishments for substance abuse, and Bryant ran afoul of these standards at multiple points during his initial NFL run. He missed four games in 2015 due to substance-abuse ban and was sidelined throughout the 2016 season. Bryant’s subsequent penalty — levied in December 2018 — ended up lasting for nearly five years. The ex-Ben Roethlisberger target scored 17 touchdowns from 2014-17 as a Steeler, adding a spectacular TD grab in the 2015 wild-card round.

Bryant remained in redevelopment mode as of late November of last year, and the Cowboys went with other options as CeeDee Lamb wingmen. The team released Bryant from its practice squad in early January but circled back via the futures deal. The Titans also had Bryant on their radar last year. It will be interesting to see if the Clemson alum — who also stopped through the CFL, XFL and Fan Controlled Football League — receives another NFL opportunity.

This move clears a spot for Jones, who is visiting the Cowboys today. The son of Robert Jones — a former Super Bowl starter for the Cowboys in the 1990s — Zay is a Dallas native who has seen one of his free agency doors (the Titans) seemingly close due to the Brian CallahanTyler Boyd reunion. The Cowboys still have Brandin Cooks in place as their top Lamb complement, but they remain on the hunt for more help.

NFL Reserve/Futures Deals: 1/17/24

Wednesday’s reserve/futures contracts:

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Miami Dolphins

Pittsburgh Steelers

Bryant joined the Cowboys in November, and though he didn’t appear in any games, Bryant left a good impression in Dallas after several weeks on the practice squad. He was released late in the season as the team shuffled the roster a bit but makes his return to Dallas for the offseason.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 1/4/24

Today’s practice squad transactions:

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Kansas City Chiefs

New York Giants

Isaiah Buggs will provide the Chiefs with some defensive line depth as they head into the playoffs. After playing a part-time role with the Steelers to begin his career, Buggs joined the Lions in 2022 and proceeded to have a career season, finishing with 46 tackles, one sack, and one forced fumble in 17 games (13 starts).

That performance earned him a two-year, $6MM extension this past offseason. However, his playing time dropped in 2023, and he collected 12 tackles and one sack in 10 games (three starts) before getting released earlier this week.

NFC East Notes: Neal, Cowboys, Commanders

While the Giants have seen Andrew Thomas become one of the NFL’s better tackles — en route to a $23.5MM-per-year extension — they have not observed their right tackle make a second-year leap. Evan Neal has missed time with injuries and struggled when on the field. Thomas was a Dave Gettleman draft choice, while Neal went in Joe Schoen‘s first draft in charge. Pro Football Focus has assigned this season’s third-worst tackle grade to Neal. The Alabama product was seen as a player who could potentially slide to guard at some point, having played there at times in college. For the time being, Schoen is not entertaining such a switch.

No, I don’t think so,” Schoen said, via the New York Post’s Ryan Dunleavy. “We are looking forward to getting him back, but he knows there are some things he can do better — and that’s what we expect from him. … I went back and watched the Alabama stuff: The kid can play. We just have to get him to be more consistent. I have a lot of confidence in Evan.”

In 20 starts over two seasons, PFF charges Neal with 10 sacks allowed. Just two of those have come this year, but the former No. 7 overall pick has missed five games. Neal has missed five of the Giants’ past six contests; the team has not placed him on IR. The Giants will certainly hope to see signs of promise from Neal down the stretch.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • DaRon Bland has morphed from a 2022 fifth-round pick into an NFL record holder, via the fifth pick-six he notched on Thanksgiving. The Cowboys could see two cornerbacks become first-team All-Pros in three seasons, after Trevon Diggs‘ 11-INT season landed him on the 2021 top team. Diggs’ 2023 replacement played at Division I-FCS Sacramento State and then spent a year at Fresno State. Cowboys scout Ross Wuensche identified Bland as a target,’s Ian Rapoport notes (video link), and the team brought him in for a visit. Describing Bland as a late-blooming prospect, Rapoport adds interest came in late enough he could not turn all his invitations for “30” into meetings before the 2022 deadline. With Stephon Gilmore‘s contract up after this season, the Cowboys extended Diggs and have Bland signed through 2025.
  • Recent Cowboys pickup Martavis Bryant remains in redevelopment mode. The team has not elevated its practice squad stash for a game yet, making it now more than five years since the former Steelers starter has played in an NFL game. No timetable is in place for a Bryant move to the active roster, but executive VP Stephen Jones said (via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Clarence Hill) the team sought the recent XFL wideout for his size-speed combo. The Cowboys are fairly well stocked at receiver, but Bryant’s 6-foot-4 frame would be a new dimension for this particular Dallas receiving cadre. It remains to be seen if the soon-to-be 32-year-old pass catcher still has NFL-viable form left.
  • Having fired DC Jack Del Rio after a Cowboys Thanksgiving romp, Ron Rivera is set to call the Commanders‘ defensive plays. The team also fired multi-stop Del Rio lieutenant Brent Vieselmeyer, who was Washington’s DBs coach this season. To help manage the workload, Rivera hired Jimmy Salgado as an interim staffer,’s Adam Schefter tweets. Salgado had spent six seasons on Sean McDermott‘s Bills staff, but the team fired him this offseason. Salgado spent the 2023 season at Michigan State, working as the Spartans’ cornerbacks coach.

Cowboys To Sign WR Martavis Bryant

Despite not playing an NFL game since 2018, Martavis Bryant has secured another gig. Recently reinstated, the veteran wide receiver has a deal in place with the Cowboys, according to The Athletic NBA reporter Shams Charandia.

The Cowboys brought in Bryant for a Tuesday workout. Had the Cowboys not agreed to sign Bryant, the former Steelers draftee had a meeting arranged with the Titans. But Dallas will take a flier on the former starter, with Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz tweeting it is a practice squad deal.

While this reminds of Josh Gordon‘s 2017 return after 2 1/2 seasons away, Bryant has doubled Gordon’s time away from the game. The NFL reinstated Bryant last week, and although he will turn 32 next month, it is certainly interesting a few teams showed immediate interest in a player after so much time off. The Lions also expressed interest in Bryant, according to Schultz. The Cowboys are not planning to immediately elevate Bryant to the active roster, per CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson, eyeing a gradual buildup. Given Bryant’s past, this makes sense.

The NFL banned Bryant indefinitely on Dec. 14, 2018. This came for repeated violations of the league’s substance-abuse policy. The 2011 CBA featured harsher punishments for substance abuse. Partially in exchange for agreeing to move to a 17-game regular season, the NFLPA received various concessions in the 2020 CBA. One of those came in the form of leniency on the substance-abuse front. Still, it has been more than 3 1/2 years since that CBA’s ratification. Like Gordon, Bryant will be given another opportunity. Although Gordon relapses interfered with his comeback bid — one that eventually saw the former All-Pro’s form deteriorate to the point he was no longer a sought-after player — the Cowboys will see what Bryant has left in the tank.

Like Gordon, Bryant played in the again-rebooted XFL this season. Gordon fared much better, catching 38 passes for 540 yards. Bryant, meanwhile, caught 14 passes for 154 yards in eight games with the Vegas Vipers. The Cowboys clearly liked what they saw from the former Steelers and Raiders auxiliary pass catcher, and they will see if he can come in as a tertiary target for Dak Prescott.

Back in the 2010s, Bryant was viewed as a high-ceiling talent. The Clemson alum showcased those skills at points in Pittsburgh, totaling 1,314 yards and 14 touchdown receptions between the 2014 and ’15 seasons. Bryant added an acrobatic TD in the Steelers’ narrow wild-card win over the Bengals in 2015, residing as an intriguing Antonio Brown sidekick pre-JuJu Smith-Schuster. But Bryant received drug suspensions in 2015 and ’16. Bryant received a four-game suspension in August 2015 and a full-season ban in March 2016. This led to the indefinite ban two years later.

Bryant’s rookie contract tolled to 2017, when he added 603 receiving yards for a 13-3 Steelers team, but Pittsburgh dealt the embattled wideout to Oakland in 2018. While the 6-foot-4 receiver flashed frequently during his 2010s run, it would be highly unlikely to see him return to that level after so much time away. But the XFL could be viewed as a ramp-up period for Bryant. The Cowboys have enjoyed good fortune with players from the spring leagues. They saw USFL return man KaVontae Turpin earn All-Pro acclaim last season, and USFL kicker Brandon Aubrey is off to a flawless start upon signing with the team. Aubrey is 19-for-19 on field goals thus far as a Cowboy.

The Cowboys aimed to sign Odell Beckham Jr. last season but were not satisfied with his post-ACL-tear form. They ended up adding T.Y. Hilton. The 11-year veteran made a key reception in a win over the Eagles last season. This year, Dallas acquired Brandin Cooks from Houston. Cooks has joined Michael Gallup as starters alongside CeeDee Lamb. Bryant brings size the Cowboys’ starters do not, however, with none of the first-stringers standing more than 6-1. Turpin (5-9) and 2022 third-round pick Jalen Tolbert (6-1) are in place as backups. Seventh-round rookie Jalen Brooks is also on Dallas’ 53-man roster. It will be interesting to see if Bryant sees game action as a result of this agreement.

WR Martavis Bryant To Visit Cowboys; Titans Arrange Meeting

5:35pm: Bryant’s free agency tour could continue in Tennessee. The veteran wideout plans to work out with the Titans if he doesn’t sign a deal with the Cowboys tomorrow, per Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz.

9:40am: When news of Martavis Bryant‘s reinstatement came, it was reported he was drawing interest. That has resulted in the first known workout for the veteran wideout in his bid to return to the NFL.

Bryant will visit the Cowboys on Tuesday, per Dianna Russini of The Athletic. That will give him the opportunity to earn what would no doubt be a practice squad deal with Dallas if things go according to plan, as teams routinely take the taxi squad route to slowly bring along veteran additions. The Cowboys currently have one open spot on their practice squad.

The 31-year-old was officially reinstated on Saturday, paving the way for a deal with any interested team. Bryant last played in 2018 during his brief Raiders tenure, and he bounced around other levels of professional football since that time. It would come as a surprise if the former Steelers fourth-rounder made his way onto an active roster (or at least earned notable playing time) down the stretch this season, but an impressive showing in front of the Cowboys could accelerate his return to gameday lineups.

Dallas is set atop the WR depth chart with CeeDee LambBrandin Cooks and Michael Gallup. Lamb has lived up to expectations this year with four games over 117 receiving yards (including each of the past three contests) but the latter two have been much less consistent in complementary roles. The Cowboys also have the likes of Jalen Tolbert and returner KaVontae Turpin as options at the receiver spot.

If Bryant’s workout goes well, he could soon find himself inking a deal with the Cowboys to give the team depth in their pass-catching corps. A strong showing could, however, increase interest from other teams, including those which may offer a clearer path to an active roster spot. It will be interesting to see how tomorrow’s visit plays out.

WR Martavis Bryant Reinstated By NFL

Martavis Bryant is on the comeback trail. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the veteran receiver has been reinstated by commissioner Roger Goodell and is drawing interest around the NFL.

Bryant hasn’t been rostered by an NFL team since the 2018 campaign, when he got into eight games with the Raiders. The wide receiver made a name for himself in Pittsburgh, collecting 1,363 yards from scrimmage and 15 touchdowns through his first two NFL seasons. He was suspended for the entirety of the 2016 season after violating the NFL’s drug policy, but he picked up where he left off in 2017, finishing with 625 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns.

He was traded to the Raiders for a third-round pick during the 2018 offseason, and he proceeded to haul in 19 catches for 266 yards in eight games (two starts) with his new squad. He was later hit with an indefinite ban after violating the terms of his conditional reinstatement, and Bryant hasn’t been on an NFL team since that time.

Over the past few years, Bryant has had brief stints with a couple of Canadian Football League teams, and he was also drafted during the 2023 XFL Skill Players Draft. Earlier this year, he got into four games with the Fan Controlled Football League, collecting eight catches.

Bryant will be 32 in December and hasn’t played in an NFL game in several years, so he’ll be hard pressed to find a roster spot before the season is done. Perhaps he could catch on with a practice squad with hopes of sticking around for the 2024 season.

Vic Beasley, Martavis Bryant, Josh Gordon, Marquette King On XFL Rosters

The XFL will begin its third try next week. The rebooting league’s latest season will begin Feb. 18, nearly two months before USFL 2.0’s second season is scheduled to start.

This setup will make for a strange winter-spring period in which two minor leagues of sorts will be in operation. Considering the short tenures of XFL 2.0 (2020) and the Alliance of American Football (2019), this will be one of the more interesting years for non-NFL football.

Numerous former NFLers line the XFL’s season-opening rosters. Here are some of the players who will be part the league’s latest eight-team configuration. The full rosters can be found here.

Arlington Renegades

King has not punted since the 2018 season, when the Broncos waived him not long after signing the veteran specialist to a multiyear deal. King, 34, punted for the Raiders for five seasons.

D.C. Defenders

Armstead received workout opportunities and landed with multiple teams, but the former Jaguars backup has been unable to regain his footing since missing all of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 complications. A former Packers second-round pick, Murphy has six NFL seasons under his belt. Reid, 31, played eight NFL seasons — most recently suiting up in 2021 — and was a regular for the Lions early in his career. Brice started 10 games for the Packers in 2018; he has not played since.

Houston Roughnecks

Davis started 42 games for the Steelers from 2017-19; he played with three teams during the 2021 season. A

Orlando Guardians

Elam logged 26 starts for the Ravens, but his NFL run stopped after the 2016 season. A former Broncos second-round pick, Latimer played six NFL seasons and ended up a 10-game starter for the Giants in 2019. Lynch was part of the 2016 and ’17 Broncos squads along with Latimer but, despite his first-round status, flamed out of the league after two seasons. He has since spent time in the CFL and USFL.

San Antonio Brahmas

Ballage did not play in the NFL this season but saw action in 17 games for the Steelers in 2021. Wing served as the Giants’ punter for three seasons. Sinnett was with the Dolphins this season, joining the team following Tua Tagovailoa‘s Week 4 concussion.

Seattle Sea Dragons

The biggest name in this XFL edition, Gordon became a journeyman in recent years. He was most recently with the Titans, catching on with Tennessee this year before being released in October. The former All-Pro spent the 2021 season with the Chiefs. Suspensions hijacked the 31-year-old pass catcher’s career. The Cowboys cut DiNucci just before this season, and while workout opportunities came, the former emergency Dallas starter will try his hand in the XFL.

St. Louis BattleHawks

Although McCarron’s most recent action came with the Texans, he was on the 2021 Falcons. A path toward being Matt Ryan‘s final backup in Atlanta closed after a preseason ACL tear. Workouts in 2022 did not lead to a signing.

Vegas Vipers

A former top-10 pick and NFL sack leader, Beasley has been out of the league since the 2020 season. The ex-Super Bowl starter’s one-year, $9.5MM deal did not work out for the Titans, who cut the edge rusher during the ’20 campaign. Bryant has been out of the league longer, with suspensions altering his path. The talented ex-Steeler spent time in Canada recently. Hundley was on the Ravens’ practice squad until season’s end this year, signing with the team after Lamar Jackson‘s ankle injury.