Martavis Bryant

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.

Extra Points: Rooney Rule, Booth, CFL, USFL

The NFL made more adjustments to the Rooney Rule this week. Teams must go into the season with a minority coach or a woman on their offensive staff, Kevin Seifert of notes. This can include a woman of any race, and the NFL also will include women among Rooney Rule requirements going forward. Teams must interview at least two external minority candidates for head coach, coordinator and GM roles; women are now included in this pool. Clubs, however, will not be required to interview female staffers for these positions. The female or minority staffer hired as part of this offense-based initiative must work closely with their respective team’s head coach, Seifert adds, and their respective salaries will be paid via a leaguewide fund. The NFL has a league-record 17 minority defensive coordinators currently, with two teams employing co-DC setups, but 27 of the league’s 31 offensive coordinators (the Patriots do not currently have a staffer in this role) are white.

Here is the latest from around pro football:

  • Clemson cornerback Andrew Booth looms as a first-round prospect, but he will not be ready for his team’s offseason activities. The incoming rookie defender underwent sports hernia surgery, Adam Schefter of tweets. While Booth (Scouts Inc.’s No. 30 overall prospect) is expected to be ready for training camp, it will be a bit before he is healthy.
  • De’Anthony Thomas joined Oregon draft hopefuls in working out at the school’s pro day Friday, with Schefter adding the former Chiefs wide receiver/return man is aiming to make a comeback (Twitter link). A six-year NFL veteran, Thomas has not played since 2019. He was among the first to opt out due to COVID-19 concerns ahead of the 2020 season. The Oregon alum is currently on the British Columbia Lions’ roster in the Canadian Football League, signing with the team in February.
  • Staying in the CFL, Martavis Bryant will receive another chance north of the border. The former Steelers and Raiders wide receiver who battled suspensions in the NFL signed with the CFL’s Edmonton Elks, who are taking a flier on the talented pass catcher despite his refusal to report to the Toronto Argonauts’ training camp in 2021. The Argos held Bryant’s rights last year, but he is now in Edmonton. Bryant last played in the NFL in 2018, catching 19 passes for 266 yards with the Raiders. Bryant posted two 600-plus-yard receiving seasons in Pittsburgh but was suspended three times during his NFL career for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.
  • Another spring league will launch this month, with the rebooted USFL beginning play April 16. The latest spring effort’s contracts are structured in a way that will make it a bit more difficult for the XFL to acquire players when its latest relaunch occurs in 2023. The USFL gave its players one-year contracts with team options for 2023, per Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal (via Mike Florio of PFT). None of the recent spring leagues — from the Alliance of American Football (2019) to XFL 2.0 (2020) — finished their respective seasons, so the matter of USFLers’ 2023 contracts is not exactly a front-burner item just yet. Some notable players — like Paxton Lynch, De’Vante Bausby, Kyle Lauletta and other ex-NFLers — are part of this centralized (in Birmingham, Ala.) USFL.

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 (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.

Martavis Bryant Applies For Reinstatement

Suspended again for substance-abuse issues, Martavis Bryant filed for reinstatement on Monday, per Dan Graziano of 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’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.

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,’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.

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 (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 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.

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’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’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.

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.

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.

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.