2017 South Side Questions: Who Would Have Tried To Trade Martavis Bryant?

The journey toward the Super Bowl is now well under way with the Pittsburgh Steelers back practicing at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, still informally referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility. With the regular season standing in their way on the path to a Lombardi, there will be questions for them to answer along the way.

We have asked and answered a lot of questions during the preseason and through training camp, but much of the answer-seeking ends in the regular season, and teams simply have to make do with what they have available to them. Still, there will always be questions for us.

You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the regular season and beyond as they develop, looking for the answers as we evaluate the makeup of the Steelers on their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.

Question: Would you have considered trading Martavis Bryant, and what would you have required in compensation?

I think the majority of Steelers fans who have followed the team long enough are aware that they are very rarely very active in some of the more ‘exciting’ moments of the roster-building process. They don’t make splashes in free agency, they don’t make trades.

Of course, they did some of both this year, with the signing of Joe Haden, for example, even if it came all the way in August. And they made a number of trades—five, if I recall correctly—bringing in two players, trading two others away, and swapping player for player.

So if there was a year in which the Steelers would be tempted to make a move prior to yesterday’s trade deadline, there is a reasonable thought process suggesting that it would have been this year. And they even had a movable commodity in Martavis Bryant, who literally wanted to be traded.

Teams called, the Steelers didn’t oblige. Would you have? And what would the compensation have needed to be in order for you to pull the trigger on a trade for the talented but controversial wide receiver?

On the one hand, he has already proven to be a valuable player in the past. On the other, he hasn’t shown nearly as much so far this year. One also has to wonder if the offense is equipped to take advantage of his best attributes.

Acquiescing his desire for a trade could also set a dangerous precedent, which the Steelers are careful not to do. They just made Antonio Brown wait two years to negotiate a new contract, so they wouldn’t consider giving in to a player’s trade demand lightly.

It’s one thing to be willing to deal him, and another to get appropriate value. What that value is, I wouldn’t be surprised, deviates greatly from evaluator to evaluator. But I do know this: he can still help the Steelers win a Super Bowl in 2017. I don’t know if they will be in position to make a run in 2018.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

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

  • If someone would have come calling with something insane like a first or second round pick, I would have entertained the thought. With Bryanted checkers history I doubt anyone else was willing to go higher than a 6th for him.

    Tomlin was right last week, they have invested a lot in him, and also waited for him while he cleaned up his act (at least on the weed front). I ean how long have the Browns been waiting on the same for Josh Gordon? Jax is still waiting for Justin Blackmon to right his ship. Bryant has overcome some huge odds only to open his mouth and let the garbage fly.

    So now that the trade deadline has past and JJSS’s most recent game should have put Braynt into “put up or shut up” mode, I look forward to his competitiveness. He is playing for his NFL future, it will only serve him well to play his best from here on out.

  • John Phillips

    I’m just wondering who made the offers and what the offers were.

  • Steeler Nation!

    The last 2 sentences answered the question with an emphatic NO. He is worth a lot more to us in the present than he would’ve attracted from any other team. Had he never been suspended his trade value would’ve been thru the roof. Even so, chances for Lombardi Trophies are limited.

  • Steelers32

    like these what ifs, ok trade with the Browns, Pitts 1st rd pick and Bryant for Browns 2nd pick in 1st rd (projected in teens)

  • Steelers32

    Me too

  • Darth Blount 47

    I could have swore I read Bryant’s words and they said IF “blank and/or blank” don’t happen or aren’t happening, THEN just trade me. Correct me if I’m wrong. But I find that to be a vast different proposition than simply TRADE ME. In 3 different parts of his quotes, he says how he wants to be here and hopes it can get better here. BUT if not… then he’ll have to move on.

    As far as would I have traded him? No. I don’t think we have a hole anywhere that could be filled by a player that was even halfway rumored to be available, like Safety or even TE. Ebron wouldn’t be enough of an upgrade. And I didn’t see any Safeties get moved or even rumored I don’t think. We don’t need a QB, RB, WR, OL, DL, or even LB or CB. Thank God. So then you are talking draft picks. Would I have taken a 1st for Bryant? Okay, now you got me interested. A 2nd? I’m still possibly listening. 3rd or beyond? No thanks. Pass.

  • Darth Blount 47

    It was rumored the Pats called. I would have put Belichick on hold and then went and got lunch at Primanti’s.

  • Chad Weiss

    Smart move if u wanna trade him do it during off season,not during season when dude can help us win a super bowl

  • Chad Weiss

    One of the biggest problem about trading him is there’s no one to replace him,not in a trade,not in the draft as the wr group coming out this year is crap to say the least.
    Safety would be interesting but let’s be honest they’re not gonna just start sitting Mitchell. If They could trade him as biggest to help move up for a qb I’d trade him during draft,if not id keep him next year and just take the comp for him.

  • francesco

    MB has been playing at his best.
    Now question Ben and see if he had been playing at his best.
    Brees and MB would be tearing (as in tears) this league.

  • Al Webber

    Only for a player.

    I would only have done it in a player for player trade. It has be someone who could help this season. You need to maximise the chance of winning while Roethlisberger is still around – and he might not be next year. I don’t like the depth at ILB, and it might be possible to upgrade at positions like tight end, or backup safety.

    If someone had the right player at one of those positions who could improve that area of the team now, letting Bryant go might have made sense. Doing it for a draft pick would have made no sense at all.

  • francesco

    I would have traded MB to the Pats for MButler or McCourty.

  • Steelers32

    See it differently, Bryant can open the game right up… but… has he? is he sitting with 4 or 5 td’s?
    Hunter is fast, and from what i seen so far play vrs play looks like either better hands or just more willing to fight for ball. Yes a drop off from Bryant, but speed is speed when stretching the field.
    JuJu becoming a trusted outlet for Ben, AB is well AB, the receiving corps can thrive without Bryant.
    Safety is a need, but the 600lb gorilla in the room is Ben is showing his age he has warned it was coming and it shows. This year is set and looking as good as it will get, any and all moves from now till the draft should be the teams #1 mission, to secure a QB, and picking in the 30’s is a very poor position to do so.
    My hope is Bryant figures out he is killing his own value, plays lights out down the stretch making himself (not a team 1st type) a coveted game breaking WR.
    Works for him garnering a big money deal, works for Pitt in trade value, if I am correct he still has a extra year in Pitt due to his suspension. Use him to leverage a move up in draft both sides get a win.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Or even someplace much further

  • Steel Realist PAul

    I think it’s more of a, would the team be better without him, kinda thing. They weren’t going to get some plug and play starter anyway, probly just a low pick.

    So, the bet is that Bryant will be worth more than the headache he causes. If the headaches are over, well done. If not.. could be a long and annoying season with a lot of distractions still. Then, he’ll HAVE to perform or it won’t go well for MB.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Why not Gronk?

  • The Tony

    Seeing what The Bills gave up a 3rd and a 7th for Benjamin, I would have most definitely considered the same offer for Bryant

  • Smitty 6788

    No. I don’t care about next years draft. Because I want to win a Lombardi this year. MB gives us the best chance this year.

  • Andrew

    Wouldn’t have dumped him at the deadline, but I would definitely look into it this offseason. He is unhappy, and we aren’t using him properly. I feel like on the low end he is worth a fourth round pick, and everything above that would just be gravy. If the Bills offered the Steelers what they did for Benjamin, Bryant would be in a Bills uniform today.

  • francesco

    Pats would not move Gronk. He is vital to their offense seeing how depleted it is right now.

  • The Tony

    This draft is going to be very interesting for the Steelers. If they decide to part ways with Bryant, which I am leaning towards that they will retain him for his final year, the draft could play out very favorably for the Steelers. Assuming we are picking anywhere from high 20s to 32. The draft could feature at least 5 QBs going in the first, potentially another 3 RBs and another 4 WRs along with various other players of potential need.

  • Rocksolid20

    Carolina , MB for Benjamin would have worked .

  • *FACEPALM*

  • Steve Johnson

    You’re 100% Right! The QB and the O/C needs to do a better job of getting this guy involved in the Offense more. How many yards did A.B. have last Sunday Night? If Bryant was on the team, A.B. and L. Bell stats would have been better. M.B. is tired of being used just as a decoy, I don’t blame him at all. However, I can’t condone his actions, keep it in house.

  • Spencer Krick

    If someone offered me a top 100 pick, I would have been tempted. Still think keeping him for the season is the better option.

  • Steve Johnson

    They said Buffalo was one team that called. Buffalo gave up a 3rd and 7th Rd pick for Kelvin Benjamin.

  • Steve Johnson

    LOL. Good one!

  • Steve Johnson

    Oh yes, they need to draft a QB. #7 will do for now. They also need an upgrade from Mitchell.

  • Steve Johnson

    I think the Steelers will trade him after the draft. I also think the Steelers will draft two WR’s next April. What round? Not sure, but I think they will seek to find a WR with speed, someone capable of returning punts.

  • Steve Johnson

    Naw, Benjamin is too slow, he ain’t stretching nothing except his waist line.

  • WreckIess

    I wouldn’t have. At most, we might’ve gotten a 5th rounder for him which just isn’t enough. That also leaves us with either Eli or Hunter getting more PT and I don’t want to see either one of them on the field anymore than they already are.

  • Steve Johnson

    No!

  • francesco

    I don’t want to take away the impact JuJu had on Sunday. But i would be cautious to anoint him #2WR because his position is quite different than MB and so you cannot compare and then it all comes down to scheme and how the OC game plans each game. My point was that Brees just needs a small window and he can throw the ball to his #2 WR as if it were his #1WR. Ben not so much.

  • francesco

    I’ll explain why. If we are going to win this year without MB it would have had to be on defense. ABurns is not as good as people are making him out to be. MButler is one of the best corners in the game. He is even better than Haden. So imagine Haden and Butler!

  • Talyn Scarbrough

    I am so glad you aren’t working in the front office and making these decisions. We are in win now mode and you literally just suggested giving the pats another weapon… Brady makes everyone better. For just a moment think about what adding Bryant would do for the pats. I wouldn’t trade with the pats for anything unless I knew it was only going to screw them over.

  • francesco

    Yes i gave them an incredible weapon in MB but in return we got one of the best corners in the game. They cancel each other out.

  • Talyn Scarbrough

    No, with Brady as the QB if it was any team other than the pats, I might agree. I have read a ton of your posts and most of them seem to be way off base… Our offense is struggling as is. You want to give them the only reason why A.B isn’t being triple covered? Just no.

  • francesco

    If you have read my posts you would see that i have been very high on MB.
    Now if you ask Tomlin…he thinks his team is good even without MB because he has JuJu (new pet project).
    Getting back to MB…i would not ever trade him unless i knew i’m getting an elite CB in return.

  • pittfan

    +100

  • pittfan

    If we’ve seen his best, I’d send him off for the highest pick we could get. It wasn’t Ben who didn’t get his head around as he was SUPPOSED TO when he had his number called.

  • pittfan

    Darth was right in that MB said he wants to be here but be more involved in the O. Seeing as how he has had the 3rd highest looks on the team I’m not sure that holds water..having said that..I do hope he works with Haley and Ben to implement a plan to get him 6-10 plays that best use his skills to see how well he performs.
    I would not have gone back on my public statements and entertain trade discussions for the benefit of a malcontent. (Unless it was the Clowns #1 pick in 2018)

  • Al Webber

    The Bills would never have offered that for Bryant. Benjamin isn’t one moment of weakness away from having his career ended.

    Bryant has a history of smoking dope, and is one more failed test away from a ban that would probably end his career. His recent posturing, missing meetings etc. won’t have done much to convince potential trade partners of his stability. They also won’t want to bring in someone who could be a problem in the locker room. No-one is going to give up anything significant for Bryant. They might take a flyer on him with a 6th round pick but I can’t see anyone giving up more than that. We only got a 5th for Santonio Holmes who was a Superbowl MVP and proven number 1 receiver.

  • Rotten Sircus

    Who were the teams that were interested in Martavis ? They probably didn’t have the right compensation the front office was looking for ! I’m glad we kept him & think we should make him play out his contract. He’ll be needed come playoff time !!!

  • Chad Weiss

    This year’s receiving class is super weak imo from top to bottom so with that being said I hope you are wrong.

  • francesco

    Speaking of that play…Ben threw that ball way too soon.
    There was no rush as he had time to wait for MB to beat his man inside first.

  • Bradys_Dad

    I only wish I could up-vote this 100 times – ugh

  • Ravens Team Gynecologist

    Nope. No chance. I am with David T. on this one. The upside(him returning to form) vs what they would get for him doesn’t make sense at all.

  • pittfan

    You’re right. It was Ben’s fault for thinking Bryant would do his job correctly.

  • pittfan

    +100. There, I fixed it.

  • francesco

    Finally you have come around😊

  • pittfan

    Yup! All aboard the MB “everyone’s else’s fault but mines” train!

  • Andrew

    This draft could be big. Our three biggest needs are probably QB, S, TE. We have capable starters at each of those positions already. We could be primed to bring in a lot of good talent as opposed to picking for needs. Not to mention there are some good receivers we could take a look at.

  • Andrew

    I’m not saying the Bills offered that trade, but had they offered that, I would have flipped him at the trade deadline. And I also agree everyone overvalues Bryant, because there is no chance we trade him for a 2nd or 3rd. This off season, I would try to trade him though. A fifth or a fourth is minimum what I would take. If a team offers more, that would be icing on the cake.

  • J.

    Bryant is that you?

  • francesco

    No but he owes me!

  • Lambert58

    lol Comment of the day!

  • Lambert58

    Darth, you are Bryant’s staunchest defender here. I hope your belief in him is justified.

    I’d love for him to get back to being the weapon he has been in the past, it’s just hard to believe in that so far this year. Sink or swim at this point.

  • Darth Blount 47

    I might just be, but there are a select few of us. And if not staunchest, let’s just say he has me on retainer. Lol.

    I truly think so far, you have to look a little past his own numbers, and look at Bell’s and Brown’s. When you watch the film, he routinely commands the Safety and I’ve seen times where he has a CB, Safety, and a LB that is peeking his way. It really is something. And his blocking has been quite good, so he’s made an impact in various ways, just unfortunately not much receiving, outside of the one game.

  • Lambert58

    Good points. He’s someone that the defense has to account for on every play. Now if we can just get him going a little bit production wise… With JuJu coming on, those 3 WR sets could be lethal!

  • Steve Johnson

    I agree, JuJu isn’t fast enough to replace M. Bryant. can only effectively run three routes. The Steelers will need all three if they are going to have any chance of beating New England.
    The sad thing is this, I just don’t think Tomlin, Haley or Butler has what it takes to come up with a game plan to beat the New England.

  • francesco

    I’m with you. I have reservations on these three coaches. Butler’s game plan is too simple and predictable. Haley’s gameplan will have no wrinkles or surprises or hurry up offense. Tomlin is a cheerleader for these two coaches mentioned. He does not have a strategic bone in his body. He will blame it on the players for not executing the wrong game plan. Hardly adjusts during the game or during half time. It’s going to take a miracle or Brady getting hurt.