2017 Steelers Stock Watch – WR Martavis Bryant – Stock Up

With the 2017 NFL Draft now over and the bulk of the heavy lifting done with regard to the roster building process now out of the way, it is easier to begin to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand at certain positions, and what the implications might be of a variety of moves for certain players.

And take stock is what we shall do, as every move has ramifications up and down the roster, so now we will take a look at some specific players and see how the team’s moves during the course of the offseason thus far, and more specifically since the draft, have sent their stock rising, falling, or breaking even.

Player: WR Martavis Bryant

Stock Value: Up

Following a year out of football due to an indefinite suspension, I think it should probably go without saying that the stock value of Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant is obviously trending upward. I even read an article intimating that he offered the best value based on his projected selection in fantasy football.

But of course the road ahead for Bryant is still paved with obstacles, even if the course to redemption is somewhat mapped out. He has been conditionally reinstated, but he has yet to be able to actually report to the team facility and resume his football career and work out with his teammates.

The day that he walks back into the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex will certainly be an interesting one, and you can bet that we will get plenty of news out of that, from an inevitable interview with him upon his return in addition to interviews with many of his teammates discussing his first day back, his first practice back, and on down the line.

More importantly, assuming that everything else goes smoothly, of course, is the fact that Bryant has evidently been quite diligent in maintaining his shape. He has frequently documented his training regime and put forth plenty of examples of his bulkier, yet still speedy figure, reportedly up to 230 pounds of muscle now.

If Bryant can step back into the role that he vacated due to his issues of the field, then that dramatically reshapes not just the Steelers’ offense and what it is capable of doing, but also the team as a whole and what level of success they will be able to achieve.

But on a personal level, doing so will be tremendous for Bryant as an individual, who has far too much early-life experience in dealing with self-inflicted wounds. He has allegedly battled depression and seems to take things to heart when he is down, so naturally I hope for the best for him and his family, which now I believe includes three children.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • Spencer Krick

    I’m excited to see Martavis get back at it! He sounds like he’s got one hell of a chip on his shoulder, I wouldn’t want to get in his way this year.

  • george

    I thought he was able to join the team but needed approval of his “plan” before the season started.

  • Charles Mullins

    Please get to Pitt ASAP.

  • VaDave

    I wish the media would have the good sense to leave this kid alone when he does come back. I can hear the questions now: Are you glad to be back? ” Yes” Are you in shape? “Yes” Are you sorry for the situation you put your team in?” “Yes” Are you going to talk to Ben? Yes? Are you going to have any lingering effects from being off? No, How is your treatment play going? Fine. For gosh sakes, leave the kid alone. We already know what the questions are and how he is going to answer them.

  • StillersInThe6

    If you think a sizable contingent of players on rookie contracts are playing for the city or team rather than for the future dollars, you are out to lunch. (ps. a sizable = absolutely any). Persosonally, why it would matter what his motivations are, is beyond me. The fact that the kid used the time off to vastly improve his value/physique/chance of succeeding on the football field, speaks quite a bit more than what he says or why he’s working hard, imo.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    stock up? are you high? there is literally a 5 way battle at wr2. bryant, coates, hunter, juju, dhb.

  • VaDave

    Points taken. I’ve often been accused of being out to lunch, and a lot worse…. BTW, I wasn’t aware they are passing out Nobel Peace Prizes for getting in shape.
    .
    Being honest, I never was big on mercenary types, and much prefer team sports. Many striving to become the best unit. Somehow, when I think of the Steelers, I find it doubtful that the team goal is to ultimately make as much money as possible for each individual player.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    This year connor said he wanted to be in pittsburgh more than anywhere else. as have many others over the last few years. hell even joe green said the first contract he had he didnt care for the money and playing for anyone but the steelers would have been a mistake.

    so you’re wrong.

  • Conserv_58

    Your first paragraph is a accurately stated, real world example on the reality that exists on our sports media’s short comings.

    Your second paragraph points to a sobering reality that many fans don’t want to admit exists. I guess it can best be summed up in an old cliche’. “It ain’t personal. It’s business.”

  • Zach Bolen

    If you think any one has a shot to really take WR2 from him you are the one that is high, the guy was a beast on the field before and now he is actually working out and trying so yeah good luck with that “Battle”.

  • Mark

    The NFL is fleeting, all it takes is an injury (ask Golson) and you will find out that this is a business and not family. He’s not trying to win teammate of the year, he’s trying to get rich playing a sport that he’s played since the age of 7. You’re quick to point out the selfishness of the player, however, the Steeler’s are known for getting ride of players ahead of their decline.

  • VaDave

    Just one quick side note on Joe Greene. When he was drafted, the last team he wanted to be drafted by was the Steelers. It was an ” Oh Crap” moment for him. But, to your point, Connors isn’t the only player we have that wanted play for the Steelers, BJ Finney is one, and didn’t one of our other draft picks said the same thing?

  • Conserv_58

    There are always exceptions. I find it admirable and heart warming to hear current and former Steelers’ players say that they couldn’t see themselves playing for any other team, but they all agree that pro sports is, first and foremost, a business. We’ve all heard it said at some point in our lives that to be trully successful in business it is imperative to separate personal feelings from business decisions.

    In Joe Green’s case he played before free agency came into being. I wonder if he would feel the same if they had free agency in the 70’s. There is no doubt in my mind that if there was free agency back then many of those 70’s players would have signed with other teams after their rookie contract were done.

  • Conserv_58

    There are many cases of players that have said they wanted to play for the Steelers, but the vast majority of them were young rookies. Their desire and allegience gets tested when the business side of playing in the NFL rears it’s ugly head.

  • Conserv_58

    You’re either very naive or delusional if you think that Coates, Hunter, DHB or a rookie, JuJu are a legitimate threat to unseat, Martavis as the #2 WR. The only realistic scenario for that to take place is if Martavis was to suffer an injury.

  • VaDave

    In some cases that have. But in other cases, they have gone out of their way to help. I think Blier is probably the most notable example. There was a more recent thing that came to light during Dan Rooney’s eulogy. There was a fringe player who’s agent had agreed with Dan on a new contract . The kid was at practice at the time and had a career ending injury before signing on the dotted line. Anyway, he went into Rooney’s office to say goodbye, and Dan asked him if he had signed the contract. The player told Dan, no. Dan told him he better sign that contract quick, and honored the terms of the contract.
    .
    You will get no argument from me that the NFL is a chew them up and spit them out enterprise. I’m not saying the Steelers never cut a player due to injury, but they are honorable business people and have treated players better than most. If you want to see an example of chew them up and spit them out, check out what goes on is Foxboro.

  • VaDave

    I think that goes both ways. Undoubtedly the mercenary aspects rear their ugly head, think “The New Money Crew”. But I’m also sure some that don’t want to come find a home as well.

  • Conserv_58

    You’re correct about what Joe felt about being drafted by the Steelers. It comes down to the simple fact that up until they hired, Chuck Noll the Steelers were perennial losers. Chuck Noll single handedly changed the Steelers’ culture from that of lovable losers to a championship team.

  • cencalsteeler

    I don’t know the process, but what’s the hold up with him getting his plan in place? The day he was reinstated shouldn’t he have set up his counseling in the Burgh and reported to camp? Maybe made a few calls instead of a few social media posts? It’s hard for me to see his stock going up by just posting a pic of him being bulked up and running a 40 yard dash. For me, his priority should be getting sh*t lined up so he can be at the facility training with his team and so far, that hasn’t materialized. I can easily put on 5 pounds of muscle, have someone record a video of me running a 40 and still get higher than a kite when the record button isn’t on. His stock for me will rise when I see his commitment to the team. Until then, I’ll just keep my fingers crossed.

  • cencalsteeler

    Or fail a test…..

  • VaDave

    It’s almost impossible to maintain a ten year dynasty in this age, and you are correct that it was much easier to keep a team together in the 70’s. You have to give the Pats kudos for doing as well as they have under this CBA.
    .
    Do you remember the defections with the upstart leagues in the 70s? I think it was the World Football League? We were a Nano second from losing a boatload of players. White, Greenwood, Blount if I remember correctly. The Dolphins lost Kicck and Csonka to it. I know we lost Cliff Stoudt and Jimmy Smith to the USFL.

  • VaDave

    I don’t know if you were around back then, but I’m certain most of the malcontents ( not that I’m accusing your of being one) that post here weren’t. If they were, they would truly know what a bad football team made up of bad football players, coached by bad coaches looks like. The 1968 edition of the Steelers was undoubtedly the second worst team, next to the Card-Pitts, in Steeler history. I was playing halftime shows from 67-69 and got to see it first hand.

  • Conserv_58

    It certainly does go both ways.

    I’m against signing the mercenary types because the only allegience they have is to their bank accounts. Anquon Bolden comes to mind as does Darrell Revis as two examples of players that will switch teams in a heart beat based on which one offers the most money at that time. Many can be detrimental to a team’s locker room and success. Signing Blount was certainly a bad move. He was instrumental in Le’Veon’s getting busted the first time for pot and he walked off the field before a game was over.

  • SfSteeler

    ‘hearts and smarts’ and this is the flip side…our one shining star/fall, what will it be? who, on the team will he allow to mentor/push him, or is his ego to big for that?

    if he shines it makes our WR group top 3 and makes whom ever plays at TE that much better…(assuming a Green/pottery barn scenario here)

  • Conserv_58

    I was very young back then, but my grandparents grew up in Western Pennsylvania and my grandmother loved sports and would lament on how much she loved growing up out side of Pittsburgh. My grandfather had a passing interest in baseball. It was from my grandmother that I grew up a Steelers fan. I do remember how bad they were, but since I grew up in CNY Steelers news was hard to come by. My grandmother kept me up on current events since she had family connections still living in and around Pittsburgh. Once I got to high school I developed a passion for the Steelers.

    My grandmother also told me about how and why the Steegals came into being.

  • StillersInThe6

    So you’re using a player from/around Pittsburgh and quotes from guys after settling in Pittsburgh to prove your point? It’s common sense that a player would obviously rather get drafted/play for a team near his home. Now for the other 98% of situations….

  • StillersInThe6

    1. Getting in shape does not equate to what Martavis has done during his time off. He’s put on north of 30 lbs of muscle and maintained his 95th percentile-like speed. Likening that to just “staying in shape” shows a ton of ignorance.

    2. No one said anything about the team goal. You are fantasizing about ideals, vs. living in reality. Players on rookie deals are doing whatever it takes to improve their own value – obviously part of that value hinges on being a team player. But thinking these fresh from college athletes who’ve made no money in their lives and may never make money beyond their rookie deals, are thinking about the team/city before themselves and their future, again…is just not living in reality, sorry.

  • Conserv_58

    I remember those times vividli. I also remember feeling depressed hearing about those Steelers players wanting to defect because the upstart leagues were offering more money. I was very naive back then and couldn’t understand how those players would want to do that. The player’s strike in 1987 woke myself and a lot of football fans up to how much the players were in essence, indentured servants to their respective teams. I saw how they were being used merely as money making commodities to be used and abused by the NFL owners. My thinking at that time was the NFL draft was the current incarnation of a slave market.

  • Conserv_58

    Yes, that’s true, but I don’t expect that to happen again as long as he’s in the league.

  • VaDave

    I’ll start with #2 first. No doubt a lot of guys, like the Antonio Bryants of the world, a good amount of players come from nowhere to unbelievable wealth. Most of them had support groups, like family, and other acquaintances that also undoubtedly have their hands out. Or those that the player feels either responsible for, and or deserving to be paid for services rendered and certainly effect where their loyalties lie. I get that. That said, I wouldn’t make a blanket statement that this applies to all draftees working on a rookie contract.
    As for # 1, correction. When they pass out Nobel Prizes for putting on 30 lbs of muscle, while maintaining his 95th percentile-like speed, wake me up. In the meantime, it means exactly bupkus if he isn’t on the field of play regardless of where what and whom he wants to play for..

  • VaDave

    Common sense yes. Always the case, not quite.

  • VaDave

    It’s better today, not perfect, but there is a fine line to maintained here. One way too far, and we’re back in the slave market. Too far the other way, we have chaos with the best teams in the biggest markets with the most money to spend. It has come a long way however. Think of what Joe Greene thought when he was drafted. Here’s this big Texan boy, who undoubted knew he was a good football player, finding out if he wanted to continue to play football, he was going to have to move to the north in a town he knew nothing about ( other than it’s gets “Freakin’ Cold”) to a team that couldn’t beat a team of Nuns if they forfeted, with no way out?? No wonder he didn’t want to come.

  • Ni mo

    Well if they would have told them about this plan first they would have been working on the process , you just can’t get in a rehab program that quick it takes about 2 Or 3 weeks then you have to talk to counselor or doctor and then set up the schedule out patient , he should be there by the end of the month

  • Ni mo

    Nope Michael mis grove just don’t like Bryant fro some reason , maybe it’s a weed thing or he’s just old fashioned 😂😂

  • StillersInThe6

    I value action over words. You seem to be the opposite. You’ve played psychiatrist with a sentence MB made, while simultaneously have completely discredited his behavior/action. Obviously this whole analysis takes place in the present, ie. I’m not going to continually punish him for previous actions. But to me, if you ask for a present day analysis, and ask me what’s worth more, a sentence he said, vs. the result of his hard work preparing for this season, it’s not too close for me.

    Antonio Brown? (I assume). Again, I’m not critiquing a wealthy veteran (such as AB) – I can deem a wealthy veteran as selfish and me first, who takes a huge contract over loyalties to a team, etc. We’re talking about Martavis Bryant, and players on rookie deals – many of them if you forced retirement on right now, would not be able to live the rest of their life off the money they’ve made. So yes, IMO, to fault a kid for using his own future/future pay day to motivate him to be the best he can be, and expecting him to be unselfish and put a city/team first when he’ll be cut the second he’s deemed non-valuable to said team without a bat of an eye, is nonsensical. All of these kids (save ones that are playing for their home team) are deeply motivated by their next contract first, and not to sacrifice for some team or city.

  • I agree 100% re his priorities and the likelihood of the team resigning him. My only caveat re the above is your referral to MB as a ‘kid.’ He’s a 25 year-old man with two daughters by two girlfriends. Kids are expected to be irresponsible and do dumb things–like disappoint their friends, families, and teammates–that’s why they’re usually forgiven and given second [and third] chances. MB is most definitely not a kid and won’t be given more chances if he screws up again–not by the NFL and not by the Steelers. In my opinion, he’d be much better off if everywhere he turned [and he seems to scan the Net for articles concerning himself] he’s reminded that he’s NOT a kid and henceforth will be treated, judged, rewarded or punished in life strictly as a man. Better for him, his daughters, his mother, his women, and career. You’re right, Dave, it’s going to be interesting.

  • John Noh

    I’d hate to see anyone out of a job, but it’d be a really good sign for the Steelers if Justin Hunter cannot make the 53 out of camp this season. That’d mean the team would be loaded with front-line talent.

  • VaDave

    Action over words??? He was conditionally reinstated two weeks ago and is still not compliant. Meanwhile the 2017 Steeler Train in moving out of the station. Yep, I fully agree, actions speak volumes.

  • VaDave

    JK, these days I call anybody under 50 “kid”!! LOL!! I hear you. Great post. Thanks.

  • pittfan

    MB is early in his recovery from his addiction and depression(related) issues so I’m more than willing to be patient with his growth. In order of importance, I hope he grows for the sake of his family and his children. Also for himself as failure at this point would be a devastating load to carry through life. And lastly so that our beloved team get a Randy Moss like talent get back on the field and take us to the Super Bowl!!

  • pittfan

    me too!

  • StillersInThe6

    And neither you, nor I, have a clue surrounding the variables as to why that is…

    But continue with your psychiatric evaluations based on a media answer. I’ll await to see who’s on the field and performing (ie. the only thing that matters) when the lights come on in September. That is when I’ll start making my observations/conclusions on MB for 2017/18.

  • VaDave

    What’s with the “psychiatric evaluations comment? You were the one that said actions speak louder than words. Well correct me if I’m I am wrong, but the facts are Bryant’s actions have him in this mess in the first place by being non compliant with the drug usage enforcement rules in place with his signed contract with the team and the NFL. Secondly, he was non-compliant with the testing program for first time offenders, and now he’s STILL not compliant with the league requirement for full reinstatement. This has ZERO to do with psychiatric evaluations. These are facts about his behavior that have been going on for two years that we know about. So you just keep on being in denial over it, ok?
    .
    As for him as a player, I’ll agree, he can be a major asset and he has all the talent in the world. At the moment, until he gets his crap together, his best bet is to try the CFL.

  • Alan Tman

    With MB10, Justin Hunter, LG89, SC14, and this new TE Ben has all the big receivers he needs now. I see a lot more slot in AB’s future.

  • Ni mo

    This new TE can be the next weegie Thompson or Eric Greene

  • Cwallace

    The more i think about it, being the father of three myself . I.just hope the young man can stay clean and focused on football and life in a productive measure. I would love to look back at his story of how he overcame and chose to display his extraordinary talent over pot. And if he’s the stud we think he is this only shows the Steelers willingness to be a little patient with a athlete in a hip hop driven culture. If he succeeds…win for Martavis…win for the Steelers in more ways than one.

  • StillersInThe6

    Now you’re back-pedaling on your judgement over a meaningless sentence from MB and going back to his actions that landed him suspended in the first place, lol. As I said, the past is the past, all we can do is judge him on the here and now. As I also said, obviously we don’t know what has gone on with the particulars of reinstatement, as there seems to be a disconnect between the two parties – you cannot say for certain that the NFL doesn’t have any blame for that as it seems they pull things out of their hat as they go.

    Anyway, you’re obviously still upset and in hurt over his actions last year, so there is no reasoning or logic here, but it was fun.

  • Matthew Marczi

    He needs to have his plan in place to be able to participate now. It then has to be *approved* before the regular season. From what I understand he still hasn’t set up yet with a local counselor, at least as of the last reported news.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Don’t you think Bryant is going to be a starter at the beginning of the season provided that his reinstatement goes as planned? The fact that he was yet to even be reinstated a couple days before the draft is why his ‘stock’ is up, though.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I wish I had answers myself.

  • VaDave

    No back tracking, and no emotions involved at all. So now you’re the one using “psychiatric evaluations” on my mental state? You’re pretty rich buddy. Time to call it a day.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    I have no idea if Bryant will start a t this point.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    I’m neither. We don’t have any information to this point other t han hopes that he returns as a strong player. He hasn’t played football in almost 2 years.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    Right. Because a habitual lazy dude that hasnt played in almos two yeads will automatically jump into the starting position is such a given.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I understand your hesitation. If I were to put odds on who I believe will start opposite Antonio Brown this season, however, I personally would have Bryant as the clear favorite.

  • Ni mo

    We didn’t know you was the coach or general manager

  • Conserv_58

    Please. It’s an insult to everyone’s intelligence to think that Martavis some how forgot to play football after being out for a year. As for the WR pecking order, give me a break. Yeah, sure anything can happen, but there is no way that Hunter, DHB, Ayers, Hamilton, JuJu Smith-Schuster are going to unseat Martavis for the #2 spot.

  • Conserv_58

    No because you refuse to get past your disdain for him to see that what he once was is not who he is now. He sure as heck proved that he isn’t lazy. He is drug free, he’s been training unlike he ever had before, he’s a father now and to say that he’s driven to prove unforgiving naysayers, like you, wrong is an understatement.

    Furthermore, you have no convincing or concrete evidence to prove that he won’t jump into the starting position, especially given the other receivers he is competing with. It’s actually laughable for you to even suggest that DHB, Hamilton, Hunter and JuJu Smith are a threat to Martavis. DHB was never a threat before so what makes you think that he is a threat now?

  • Conserv_58

    I’m guilty of the same thing.

  • Conserv_58

    That part of his fulfilling the prereqisites mandated to getting fully reinstated or not depends on where we get our information. Aditi Kukabuwalawhatever has been reporting that Martavis has met those conditions and will be returning to the field in a day or two. Now we hear that Martavis and family have moved back into the Pittsburgh area, yet we still have not heard if and when Martavis is actually going to partake in the spring drills.

    It aggrivates me to see how some fans assume that he was just too lazy or disinterested to take the initiative to meet those conditions. To them I say, that’s vindictive and spiteful hogwash speaking. You’d have to be a knuckle dragging fool to think that with Martavis this close to being on the field with the team that he would drag his feet on meeting the NFL’s management council’s condition for reinstatement. Haters will hate.

  • Conserv_58

    Therein lies the problem from a fan’s perspective. As I said above, it all depends on who we listen to regarding information being released on the subjest. According to, Aditi K. Bryant has meet those conditions and will be with the team in a day or two. That was over a week ago that she reported that. The latest news has Martavis and family moved back in the Pittsburgh area. Yet, there’s no word as to where he stands on having fulfilled the management council’s conditions for reinstatement. The rest is unconfirmed speculation and innuendo.

  • Jim Foles

    hopefully hunter plays well and dhb retires…

  • VaDave

    I do not tend to see myself as a hater, and certainly don’t view myself as a knuckle dragging fool. History has shown that Mr. Bryant has an issue with compliance. This has nothing to do with being lazy or disinterested, or being in shape, or not. It also does not mean he will never become compliant and stay that way. As it stands right now, regardless of who is moving where and what day he going to report has nothing to do with that. Until it is announced by league or team headquarters, Mr. Bryant is still non-compliant. And furthermore, I truly hope he’s well, and back sooner than later. He is a rare talent and a whole lot of fun to watch. As for the Devine Ms. K, how she is keeping her job sure is leading me to conjecture……

  • Michael Mosgrove

    i didnt say he would forget how to play football. a big part of football is timing and when you havent had any team work. it can be hard to re establish that. especially if you dont have the trust of your team.