The Pittsburgh Steelers may not move off from wide receiver Martavis Bryant, but are now reportedly willing to listen to trade offers for him.
No team in football has had a better track record historically at the wide receiver position than the Pittsburgh Steelers. From Lynn Swann to John Stallworth to Hines Ward to Antonio Brown, the Steelers have been able to move the sticks aerially better than your favorite football team for some time. However, one Pittsburgh wideout could be on his way out of town via trade.
According to Ian Rapoport of The NFL Network, the Steelers are now listening to trade offers for Martavis Bryant. Bryant has been with the Steelers since they drafted him in the fourth round out of Clemson in 2014. However, he did miss the entire 2016 NFL season due to being suspended for substance abuse.
When available, Bryant has shown great playmaking ability opposite of Brown for the Steelers. That being said, Pittsburgh did draft a promising young wideout in the form of JuJu Smith-Schuster out of USC in 2017.
Smith-Schuster outperformed Bryant in his rookie year in 2017. While Bryant had 50 catches for 603 yards and three touchdowns in his first year back from suspension, Smith-Schuster hauled in 58 grabs for 917 yards and seven touchdowns.
Bryant had not been happy with the Steelers’ selection of Smith-Schuster in 2017, as he was seen as his eventual replacement in Pittsburgh. Now that does look to be the case, if the Steelers are willing to move off from him. The question is how much would the Steelers be able to get in return for Bryant?
Bryant is entering the final year of his rookie contract and will stand to make $705,000 in 2018 salary. He will be hitting unrestricted free agency for the first time in spring 2019. While the Steelers likely won’t re-sign him next spring, what could the compensation be going back Pittsburgh’s way in the deal?
Possibly a draft pick, but Pittsburgh won’t be getting much back in return. However, Bryant has stated before that he wants to get traded. If not, then it could be a season-long issue in the Pittsburgh locker room.
Truth be told, whichever team does end up trading for him could be getting a great year out of production out of Bryant, as he is in a contract year. We have already seen a great deal of movement with players before the league calendar officially flips over. Maybe Bryant is dealt before OTAs?