Pittsburgh Steelers team president Art Rooney II has finally addressed the report regarding wide receiver Martavis Bryant wanting to be traded.
“We’re not looking to trade Martavis,” Rooney told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, according to Gerry Dulac. “He was out of football for a year. Maybe some of us had higher expectations how quickly he could get back up to full speed, but he’s making progress.”
Sunday night after the Steelers beat the Kansas City Chiefs, reports starting surfacing that Bryant or his representative had asked Pittsburgh to trade him because he was unhappy with his current role in the offense. Bryant later denied he had requested the team to trade him a few days ago.
Bryant, who has seen his offensive snaps dwindle some over the course of the last several weeks, enters Week 7 with just 17 receptions for 231 yards and a touchdown. On Tuesday, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said during his weekly radio interview that he thought Bryant showed no signs of being a disgruntled player during the team’s Sunday win over the Chiefs.
“As a matter of fact, this last week I thought he gave more effort in the run game, in blocking for other guys,” Roethlisberger said of Bryant’s play against the Chiefs. “There’s a play, A.B. [Antonio Brown] catches a ball over the middle running towards Martavis, Martavis turns around and picks up a block and A.B. almost springs out of it. A.B. jumps up, starts celebrating with Martavis because he saw Martavis blocking. I think the effort was even better this week on his part in things like other than just the pass game.”
According to Dulac’s Thursday report, Rooney currently has no issues whatsoever with Bryant’s work ethic.
“He’s working hard, he’s making progress,” Rooney said. “He’s been a contributor to the offense and has the potential to be a bigger contributor.”
The Steelers will play the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field this coming Sunday and Bryant might get a chance to go against second year cornerback William Jackson III in that contest should starting cornerback Adam Jones ultimately sit out with a back injury. The Steelers really could use some deep pass production in that game as that’s been lacking so far this season.