Martavis Bryant: ‘I Wouldn’t Be Here Right Now’ If I Didn’t Want To Play Football

This hasn’t been the easiest season of Martavis Bryant’s professional career—but then again, not much has been easy for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ third-year wide receiver, even if many of the difficulties he has faced have been of a self-inflicted nature.

Bryant has dealt with substance abuse problems going back at least to his college playing career, and that has been a major complicating factor in both his personal life and his professional career. He was suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season, and then for all of last season, due to violations of the substance abuse policy.

He had to jump through a number of hurdles over the course of the past year in order to ensure that he would be reinstated to play this season, and he has spoken of how he dedicated himself to football in a way that he never has before, even if that he not translated to greater success on the field.

Bryant has been vocally frustrated about his role on the team, as he has been passed over on the depth chart by rookie second-round pick JuJu Smith-Schuster, who has been more successful in turning his targets into productivity.

The veteran wide receiver even in so many words confirmed reports that he wanted to be traded in order to find a greater opportunity for him to produce, and to set himself up for a lucrative second contract in a couple of years, set to hit free agency following the 2018 season.

When the trade deadline passed, however, he said that everything is put on the back burner, and that football, and winning a Super Bowl, is his sole focus for now. He renewed that claim yesterday in speaking with Chris Adamski.

If I didn’t want to play, I wouldn’t be here right now”, he said. ”Trust me. I would not be dealing with this. I would be home with my kids. I wouldn’t be putting my body through this”.

While he still has a mind toward the future for his career and how that shapes his life both personally and professionally, he is playing with the understanding that the only thing that he can do to address the future is to maximize the success that he has now relative to his opportunities with the Steelers.

Statistically, he acknowledged that this year has “not been the best year I can have, that I can say. But it’s not in my control”. He talked about doing “the best you can do with the circumstances” given to you, referring to play-calling.

“Right now I’m going to play football and focus on everything else in the offseason. Right now all I’m worried about is playing football. Everything else I will deal with in the offseason, and my agent will. So, just trying to win a Super Bowl now”.

Having a big playoff run would certainly go well toward making himself more attractive to other teams, as will being the good soldier and not being a disruption. At this point it’s likely Bryant will try to seek a trade in the offseason—a request many Steelers fans seem ready to oblige.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi
Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • Kevin artis

    Bryant has been out the league for a year. Comes back with all type of issues. Personally and professionally.
    That being said, I would welcome a trade even if it is a late round draft pick. He has not been aggressive in his assignments or even after the catch. It seems he’s not trying to get hurt so he will be marketable next year.

  • steelburg

    I am a huge fan of Bryant but it’s hard not to think that this guy has flat out quite on certain plays this year. It has been a number of deep balls where I question why he has just stopped running on the play. At this point I wouldn’t mind a trade he sounds like a guy who is getting ready to make a lot of noise with his agent this offseason so that he can be traded. If I couldn’t get a 3rd or 4th round pick for him I would just let him play out the last year and bank on the comp pick being better.

  • Conserv_58

    Martavis’ comment, “Everything else I will deal with in the off season and my agent will.” leaves no doubt that he will be seeking a trade and that’s fine with me. If playing for the Steelers and them being in the enviable position they’re in right now doesn’t cause you to not want to continue playing for them then hasta la vista buddy.

  • Jim McCarley

    All that you need to know about Bryant’s future with this team is in the look on Ben’s face every time he throws the ball in Bryant’s direction, just to have him halfheartedly try to make the play. He did so in the ravens game and the camera found Ben and all I could think about was if Ben was thinking..”Why do I even bother throwing the ball to that guy?”

    Bryant gets manhandled by corners and goes down with little effort not to…he has never caught a ball that was not perfectly thrown and even dropped some that were…..he’s another one trick pony like Wallace….straight away speed, but that’s about it….If he improves over the last part of the season and wants to stay, then fine. If not, try to trade him and get another guy in the draft.

  • dany

    If they can get at least a 4th round compensatory pick after he leaves in 2018 I don’t him to be traded

  • Stairway7

    “But it’s not in my control.” Whe you drop balls that professional WRs should make it’s in your control. When yo refuse to go up and fight for the 50-50 balls it’s in yout control. When you look for a place to fall down after the catch it’s in your control.

  • Stairway7

    We’ve got him “through” 2018 because his suspension year tolled his contract. That means he’s not a free agent. We don’t need to worry about a comp pick we can flat out trade him in the off season.

  • SwagDaddy330

    Not to mention lazy run blocking.

    All in his control.

  • PittShawnC

    MB isn’t saying or doing anything now he didn’t say or do for years at Clemson. We took a chance on him and it didn’t work. It happens. Shame it took this long for most fans to see MB for who he is.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    Just keep making tough catches and break one. That’s all I ask.

  • Vic

    I don’t even want to see him in the line up, he brings a bad vibe, and sets a bad omen. This guy is a liability

  • Darth Blount 47

    I was wondering how long it would take before it was “Hate On Martavis Day” again. Hmm. Lasted a tad bit longer than I expected.

    This guy could save an elderly lady from a burning house and people would still question his level of effort or ask whether he fell down at any point in doing so. But, it comes with the territory of being a Steeler. You’re either beloved or reviled, there is rarely any room for the in-betweens.

    Super Bowl MVP Martavis Bryant would tickle me to the point of a hilariously exhaustive death.

  • NinjaMountie

    C’mon man. There is reviling someone and giving legit criticism. MB has done nothing this year and he has been surpassed in effort and production by a rookie.
    I don’t hate MB. I was excited for his return and thought he was going to be a difference make on the team this season. He isn’t, though.
    I’d love to see him break out of it but we’re almost done with the season and he’s shown no signs of doing this.
    I think the article was pretty fair in it’s judgement of Bryant.
    All that being said, I doubt they trade him.

  • NinjaMountie

    For what, though? We might be better off to wait and let him leave. We may get a better comp pick than we would a trade and we’d get another year out of him. Right now I don’t see anyone offering much at all for him.

  • JNick

    I’ve been happy with his play, outside of the deep ball throws. He’s been productive with his intermediate throws the past couple games. I would not be selling him off for a late round pick. He is cheap, still productive and has a role on the team. If the right opportunity for a trade preesents itself, sure. But as it stands right now, I would be fine going into next season with AB, Bryant and Schuster again. If we do trade Bryant, we then have to bring in another WR via draft or FA. I’m not sure I’d want to do that.

  • Conserv_58

    I suggest that you not hold your breath waiting for that to happen.

  • dp4

    Bryant has 8 games with 5 or more targets, yet claims its “out of his control”….

    K.

  • Chris

    Let the man play out his contract. Pittsburgh has a small window to win a super bowl or two if Ben plays out his contract. Why would you trade a potential number 2 receiver for a late round pick when you have to win now. Martavis lost quickness more than anything since 15. He can regain this and be more productive in 18. He focused on strength opposed to footwork and agility it seemed. Not wise.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    its not hate on bryant day its hate on burns day. didnt you check the schedule?

  • Hagen Rinde

    Wallace is better.

  • NinjaMountie

    I’m certainly glad the hate on Ben days are behind us.

  • www_jonahyo_net

    What you’re saying is exactly true. I’m glad he’s allegedly giving it his best for the rest of the season and playoffs, but it seems like he’ll be trying to get to another team next year. I don’t think he’s ever been accused of being the most intelligent dude, and maybe I’m biased being a Steelers fan, but why the hell would you want out of the Burgh right now? The front office and coaching staff has quickly rebuilt this team from a multiple Super Bowl champion team last decade, to one that looks like it can be a perennial Super Bowl contender again. And they did it without having ONE losing season! Sure, Marty could go to New England or an up and coming team like the Rams but the odds are you’re gonna go to a mediocre or bad team, and divas like him don’t do well on those kinds of teams. I’ll take Juju over Marty B any day for sure.

  • Petherson Silveira

    Ben has been throwing the ball to him a lot and Bryant can not catch the ball. If he hasn’t more yards than Juju, is all on him. Ben threw to Bryant more than threw to Juju. Bryant needs to play better, just it. He is giving effort, but he is not playing good football.

  • The Tony

    Aside from one play where AB looked frustrated with Bryant on his blocking effort, Bryant has been stellar in the blocking part of the game

  • The Tony

    Let’s let the season finish before we call for Bryant’s head. Will he be a big difference maker in the final three games and into the playoffs… hopefully but most likely it will be limited production. Let’s just hope something clicks and we get to see the sleeping giant that we know he can be

  • Axe Skot

    You know that the Pats secondary will triple team Brown at times, would love to see Ben connect with Bryant for some big plays. Would be the perfect time for a coming out party.

  • westcoasteeler

    Rewatching the game against the Ratbirds, Martavis stopped on a go route, Ben jabbed his arm out like why didn’t you go. Later AB caught a crossing route and Martavis stopped blocking. AB jabbed his arm out like keep blocking. Amazing we had the forethought to grab Juju. The Pats are evil lol and aren’t ready for some #GoodJuju.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    i dont hate ben, but i dont like him. he’s been so wishy washy last couple years. yes he is on a very good streak at the moment. but he has forced too many passes when he has open receivers because he wants to go for the big play. yes ben is a gunslinger and always has been but youd think after 14 years he would make some better decisions.

  • NinjaMountie

    Sometimes he goes big when he should check down. Still, you can’t argue with his success.
    He’s always been streaky. This hasn’t been a good streak really, he’s played well since the Jax game for the most part.

  • Mark

    A new year may bring a new Martavis, if not we can always do something before or after camp next year. I would love for Pryor to take his place, since he seems to be on the outs in Washington. One thing I know for sure, we will draft a WR, ILB, and OLB in the 1st 3 rounds of the 2018 draft.

  • Mark

    I root for MB all day everyday, however, the tape doesn’t lie. He doesn’t try hard for deep balls, he’s 6’4″ with a vertical out of this world and refuse to go up and get the ball. He basically lays down on bubble screens thrown to him. He now blocks with halfhearted effort. So the 2017 MB is not the player we were expecting based on all the workout videos he was posting.

    All we ask for is to put forth effort every play and the tape doesn’t lie. He’s not!

  • walter

    Yea you are right. Ben showed disgust and even motioned with his hands to keep running. It seems to me he has lost his straight away speed. He is not outrunning anybody.

  • Kevin Artis

    I’m sure we can bring in that veteran
    guy who can be just as productive as Bryant. You know that Jericho Cochery(sp), Lance Moore type player
    My biggest problem with Bryant is it seems like he’s already checked out mentally. No effort or emotion during plays.
    He flat out gave up on a route. Big as he is he goes down with a wind blow.

  • Mark

    I own it, I hate str8 hated on Ben and he is playing like the Captain and $120 mln QB we where waiting on

  • walter

    I give him credit for improved blocking but he hasnt improved anywhere else.

  • walter

    Yea he lost footwork and speed. Man was he good 2 years ago.

  • Rotten Sircus

    Only if we WIN the superbowl this year would I consider trading Martavis ! Ben is going to retire if we Win or lose that leaves us with Josh Dobbs & Landry Jones who’ll need Martavis !! Love Martavis but I’m not taking anything less than a 4th round pick for him if I’m in the front office !!!

  • Jeff Papiernik

    4th round pick is hardly taking a chance. I’d say for a 4th round pick, we got good value out of him and still are.

  • Jeff Papiernik

    No, Safety is a bigger issue thann WR

  • dany

    Of course! What i mean is if they trade him in the Off-season that’s just a 6-7th rounder, tips. Wait till he leaves the year after and collect the 4th rounder from whoever overpays him. Wheaton got a big one, Bryant will undoubtedly get a huge one

    Edit: comment directed at stairway

  • Chris

    People are quick to forget that he was arguably the best player on the field in the playoff game against Denver. Many players have down years for an abundant amount of reasons. Let’s see if he can right the ship in 18. If not you have juju as your number 2 and at least you don’t have to use another top pick on a wr in the coming draft.

  • PittShawnC

    When you use a draft pick and roster spot on someone with documented character issues, you are taking a chance.

  • Jeff Papiernik

    Then I say it paid off. Compare Bryant to Doran Grant, another 4th round pick.

  • PittShawnC

    So one should just be glad if a 4th rounder plays a handful of games?

  • Jeff Papiernik

    Playing for 3 seasons, 4 if we retain him next year, is hardly a handful of games. That’s significant contribution. 1700 yards and 16 TDs thus far, yeah you can do a lot worse with a 4th round pick. Go back to that draft and look at all the fourth round picks from that year and see how many are still on NFL rosters. You’ll be quite surprised.

  • Alex Kozora

    This.

  • PittShawnC

    lol aren’t most of them still on rosters?

  • Jeff Papiernik

    I’d say most are either off rosters or buried on practice squads somewhere. Let’s take a look at other WRs taken that year in the 4th round. Jalen Saunders, Bruce Ellington, Shaq Evans, and Kevin Norwood. So….you tell me how taking a chance on Martavis didn’t work out when those are the alternatives.

  • PittShawnC

    at WR, and the first three were drafted before MB, therefore unavailable. Look at some of the players still making impact after MB was taken.
    I guess I look at it as every GM/HC wants every draft pick to have as big and long an impact as possible. Not just a year or two. Certainly as the rounds go on, there’s less of a chance at that, but when you combine that with a documented history like MB had at Clemson, you’re taking a chance.

  • Jeff Papiernik

    It’s so easy to cherry pick guys taken after Martavis that panned out. But come on, that’s hindsight. No one can know for sure if a guy taken in round 5 is going to make it. That’s some pretty low hanging fruit there. Like oh, I can’t believe they didn’t jump on Telvin Smith instead. So easy to say that now. I think as things stand now and looking at what other options there were at the time, we got a pretty good bargain for a 4th round pick considering what the alternatives could’ve been.

  • PittShawnC

    Dude, the point isn’t to look back in hindsight and say “oh they should’ve picked Player X..”. Quote me when I said they should’ve drafted someone else.

    the point is to show that Player X is still having an impact. that 4th rounders can have a long lasting impact. that’s the point. More than a few players taken after MB are still having an impact for an NFL team.

  • pittfan

    Man I’ve been pulling for this guy the whole way, waiting for him to explode. I thought when he ran back a kick 37 yards and then took one to the house he might have turned a corner, only to have such a poor showing last week (a few intermediate catches aside). I’m still in his corner.
    My perspective is that he is still undergoing his recovery from addiction and that is a mental process rather than a physical one. A guy pulls a hammy, gets rest and lets it heal and he’s back up and ready to go. Not so with addiction. Essentially he has to become a different person. That’s not an easy thing to do in the national spotlight. Some of what I’ve seen has been distressing. The twitter crap, seeming indifference, etc.
    I understand and share the concern we have for Ryan to recover regardless of whether he plays football again. I feel the same way about Martavis. Getting back to being the next Randy Moss would be nice but that’s not the primary consideration.
    Here’s to hoping he goes Godzilla on the Pats but more importantly he gets his head screwed on right.

  • Jeff Papiernik

    Yes, however the majority are not. I think you have unrealistic expectations for fourth round picks. And MB is still having an impact as well, maybe not as significant as we’d all like. But he’s still getting a few catches each game. I still remember a huge clutch catch that he had on 3rd down against the Colts on the final drive that helped us to win the game.

  • Darth Blount 47

    There have been articles on here detailing exactly why the tape CAN lie, because people refuse to see and look or consider certain things as it pertains to Martavis. Am I somehow saying that he’s having a great year? No, no I’m not. But it’s not ALL bad and worthless, either, as many have portrayed.

    Some of the deep balls have been BEN’S fault. NO ONE on the team, including the coaches, have agreed with your assessment that he’s “dogging” plays out there. I’ve seen a guy who still commands extra defender help, opening up the game for Brown and JuJu. A guy who has given the effort to go and recover a Brown fumble at a crucial time. A guy who returned a kickoff for a 90+ yard TD, only to have the ref screw him with a phantom call. A guy who still laughs and celebrates and has caught as many passes this year as JuJu has. (37 / 37)

    Point is, as a guy who had Bryant on 2 fantasy teams, am I down that he hasn’t exploded this year? Uh, yeah. But do I feel like he is mailing it in out there? Personally, I do not. And he’s a Steeler and helping us go 11-2, so I guess I cut him more slack than most.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Crud. I missed the memo. Can’t it be both?!

    I guess considering “B” urns as a Killer B is out of the question??

  • PittShawnC

    Honestly Jeff, I think that’s really all we disagree on. Maybe I do value 4th round picks too much. But it’s hard for me to think otherwise when I see them doing great things. It also doesn’t help me to see teams like NE build SB winners full of mid-late rounders. Oh well.

    Good chat man

  • Michael Mosgrove

    in this lifetime.

  • Darth Blount 47

    “Yeah, well, that’s just like… your opinion, Man.”

    And the difference between me and most, is that I recognize that we are 11-2 and have won 8 straight games WITH Bryant, so there is absolutely NO WAY it can be as bad as people claim. The RESULTS don’t lie, whether people like them or not. And we still have 3 more games in a row to win then a home playoff game that I will be cheering for Bryant and the Steelers to keep on winning. Together.

  • Darth Blount 47

    The comments.

    And a tad bit the notion of even bringing up an article so clearly designed to engender negative responses with a headline saying: ” Martavis Bryant: ‘I Wouldn’t Be Here Right Now’ If I Didn’t Want To Play Football.” Accompanied by the same OLD talking points.

    I’ve yet to hear anyone on the inside continue the narrative that so many others seem to want to espouse on Bryant. It just seems like pinata day to me and I’m all out of sticks. Though, I am always looking to fill my sweet tooth with some sinful candy. 🙂

  • NinjaMountie

    I agree some of the comments are a bit harsh. So, I agree now that I know where you are coming from. My apologies for jumping to conclusions.
    While I don’t think MB has done much of anything to this point I’m still hoping for him to break out. I’m also wanting to keep him through next season as opposed to trading him. He’s cheap, has more upside than a rookie where we’d draft one, and we might get a better comp pick by letting him walk after 18 than we would from a trade.

  • Mark

    Free Agency, just like Mitchell and Clark.

  • Mark

    For every positive you’ve mentioned above, I have at least 2 negatives, where the tape does show lackadaisical effort.

  • Biggie

    His play is basically showing he is going through the motions and expects to be somewhere else next year. He has talent for sure, but he is playing to just get by. He doesn’t go to the ball aggressively at all, he should be able to out muscle most corners in the league for balls but he waits on it to get to him and once he catches anything he stops everything once touched instead of fighting for the extra yards. Same on his kick returns, when he can actually pick the ball up. There is very little effort on his part. Unless he shows improvement over rest of the season he likely needs to go and we can bring in vet or another draft pick to develop with JuJu as #2 guy which is what he is right now. His teammates are tying to get him motivated but he is not responding at all and he’ll bring very little in the market with attitude and off field problems.

  • Darth Blount 47

    If that were the case, he’d be benched. And he’s not, so I trust our coaches who see him every day in practice and film-review more than the fans.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Yeah, even if he just helps us beat New England into the ground, I’ll consider this whole soap opera of a season as rousing success, from the standpoint of his participations. Lol.

  • PA2AK_

    Blocking is his lone bright spot imo

  • Steve Johnson

    I’m so sick of this dude; I have supported him far enough, from the Draft through two suspensions to his comeback year in 2017. I’ve seen him literally give up on routes, the latest one last Sunday night against Baltimore. He will not fight for the ball, and if the ball doesn’t land directly in his hands, he’s useless. If you don’t get rid of cancer, it will eventually spread. The organization has done everything they need to do, trade his rear end to a team in the NFC in 2018. Provided they can find a team to take him.

  • Matthew Marczi

    According to a Washington Post draft study, relative to position and draft status, the Steelers have already gotten above average production from Martavis Bryant.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I quoted what Martavis Bryant said. It wasn’t designed for any purpose beyond quoting what he said. What in the article did I write that is not both true and germane to discussing his career arc over the past year? I thought this was a very even-handed write-up. I said nothing about effort or anything like that; in fact, his effort has been universally praised, both by his peers and by us, for blocking and things like that.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Feel free to name some of them.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Does it sound like he wants to play out his contract? Also, they already have their number two receiver.

  • francesco

    The first 8 games of the season Ben was awful.

  • Darth Blount 47

    I know we’ve done this dance before, so I’ll try to keep it more Hip-Hop and less Ballet.

    The first caveat has to be that I said it was “The Comments” and only a “tad bit” the article itself. So please understand that I agree with you that the article itself was more even-handed than others, even if while reading through the 70+ comments, whether your intention or not, the VAST majority of them take clear and unambiguous shots at Bryant. Is that your fault? No. But we can get into why that may have happened.

    The title of the article, though a Bryant quote, is the kind that if only read without the context/follow-up, would seem negatively tinged. Even if that fault lies with Bryant for uttering the words. And unfortunately, though I am never guilty, plenty of people who comment here ONLY read the headlines before diving into the comment section. That’s an undeniable fact. Emotions are still clearly raw when it comes to Martavis.

    Which gets us to the passive-aggressive nature of a few of your lines in the article, which help stoke an already troubling fire lurking in Steeler Nation. Funny to me that you choose to, as you say, shy away from attacking his effort or supposed lack thereof, however, a large portion of the fanbase defaulted to that very thing in the comments. Could that be because his positive contributions were NEVER mentioned once in the article? Which goes back to the idea of how an article is “colored” or “tinged.”

    Also, you claim that your only goal was to quote what Bryant said. But that’s not entirely the case, is it? You take the time to mention various aspects of his “career arc” as you put it. All negative, might I add. So the end result, is what we see in the comments, which can be deduced as the very fruit of your laboring. Now, I’m not proposing that you have the ability to coerce every single reader towards a pre-determined outcome, as you can clearly see by how a few of us respond often, or that you’d even want that, however, it can’t be denied that given the timing of this one, on the eve of such a tense-filled game, and with Bryant causing no discernible consternation in these last handful of weeks, the response sort of speaks for itself.

    Lastly, you choose to mention a litany of contentious propositions, such as not finishing his contract, potentially (But hopefully not) being a disruption, that plenty of fans want him gone, that his season has been less than stellar, combined with past suspensions, drug use, claiming he was taking veiled shots at the coaches, that he’s essentially performing for other teams as a job interview, that he’s lost his job to another WR, and once again erroneously stating that he demanded to be traded. Which he did not.

    If you go to your boss and say… “If this and this don’t change then I’ll quit.” Versus, “I quit.” I think you can see the inherent difference. Martavis said: “I want to be traded if this and this — can’t, don’t, or won’t change for me.” Not… “Trade me now.” He made sure to mention multiple times how his PREFERENCE would be to stay here and gain that 2nd lucrative contract that you mentioned. It was someone disgruntled with his role, NOT the team/organization/or his teammates.

    [ Damn, turns out this may not have been Ballet, but at least more Waltz than I had hoped. Lol ]

  • francesco

    NE builds through FA.

  • francesco

    The Steelers is not the kind of team MB was born to play for. He looks West Coast to me and I can’t wait to see him play somewhere else. MB does not need or desire the scrutiny and over bearing Steeler fan base. MB is a free spirit.

  • Matthew Marczi

    He did confirm in so many words that his preference would have been to be traded, and his comments again strongly indicate that he’s going to see a trade the next time that becomes possible. Re-read what he said to Josina Anderson. Honestly, if you don’t see him saying that he wanted to be traded unless he was given a larger role, then I think you’re just being obtuse.

    “I just want to be happy, whether it’s here or it’s somewhere else,” Bryant told ESPN. “I just want to help contribute. I just want to be the best player that I can on and off the field … and I want to be given the chance to be that. But I would like for it to be here. If not, then, oh well. Just got to move on.”

    He later added: “By the end of whenever the trade deadline is … I mean if things don’t get better, then I got to go.”

    By ‘move on’, he clearly means to another team. By ‘got to go’, he clearly means to another team. He unambiguously and openly talked about wanting to be traded provided that his situation doesn’t improve. And it didn’t. He only stopped talking about it because the trade deadline passed and there’s nothing he can do about it right now. And now he basically says the next time he can do something about it he’s trying to get something done about it. He knows he’s not going to get what he wants here. He can’t. Antonio Brown is here.

    The lack of productivity stems from his own quotes about his lack of productivity.

    I could go on, but I really don’t want to. If I really wanted to slant this article against Bryant, I would have talked about his insulting comments about Sammie Coates and JuJu Smith-Schuster. I think it’s pretty clear that your problem with my articles about Bryant are not the articles themselves, but your opinion of Bryant, and how others respond to him.

    I haven’t written anything about him, basically ever, that has been unfair. I didn’t talk about the clutch catches he’s made in this article, but I have in others. Why? Because I didn’t talk about his play in this article, because it’s not about that. I didn’t talk about yet another dropped pass on a deep ball either. Because it wasn’t about that. Outside of the juxtaposition of his productivity to the rookie’s, in order to explain why he lost his spot on the depth chart, it wasn’t mentioned.

    What exactly are the positive aspects of his career arc, anyway? I mentioned his rededication to football, and his willingness to put aside his future for the remainder of the season. What else am I supposed to mention?

  • PittShawnC

    Interesting piece. Has it been updated since April 2016?

    Above average after two seasons and 1300yds and 14 TDs (reg season) I get.

    Just wonder how 400 yds and 2 TD’s in almost two seasons after that (so 1700, 16 total) would rate

  • Matthew Marczi

    No, it’s not current, only reflecting the data available at the time of publishing. To clarify, it’s above average for an entire career, meaning that Bryant has outperformed the average value of a fourth-round wide receiver for an entire career over just his first two seasons alone.

    Of course that hinges upon how much stock you place in Pro Football Reference’s Approximate Value metric, which is how the study measured success (and was limited only to a player’s success with the team that drafted him, so that would exclude, for example, Eli Manning). Brown’s AV rose from 60 at the time of publishing to 77 as currently listed

    It certainly has its limits, but it’s an interesting study that I’ve referenced a few times.

  • Petherson Silveira

    Because Bryant wasn´t catching the ball is part of that “awful”.

  • Darth Blount 47

    You literally quote him saying that he’d rather LIKE IT TO BE HERE than to be traded, and then you conclude that he’d rather be traded than remain here? Perplexing.

    You also, as you have previously, forgotten to include the OTHER comments where he ALSO talked about rather remaining here and his love for this team and city, than having to leave, as his preference. I believe I fully quoted him last time we did this dance, and yet you still don’t want to read ALL of his own words.

    I find it is more your want to infer what you want to infer, that is always going to permeate your writing, even when you have a person literally telling you that he’d rather do one thing, than the other that you’d rather believe he wants to do deep down. You can’t reconcile that, I see. It’s like how you’d treat a 7 year old. “I know you SAY you don’t want the liver, but I know you better than you do yourself, so here, have another helping of liver, since that’s what you really want.”

    As I said up front, I believe the majority of negative comments that you engendered on this article, go to reinforce what I said. The proof is in the pudding. You were serving red meat and chum to the sharks. Which is fine. Even if totally and honestly unintentional.

    I like how you are upfront about how you’d go about slanting articles negatively towards Bryant, and then mention exactly the same tactics you’ve already used before. Even though once again, we TOTALLY disagree about what constitutes “slamming” someone, because I’m pretty sure I’ve dispelled the notion about Coates/JuJu on plenty of other comment threads I’ve made. It’s a bogus “fake news” story, complete with ZERO victims.

    But alas, we can agree to disagree. You are right, however, that what I mentioned again up front — is what holds most sway… My issue IS MOSTLY with the way Bryant is treated by the “fans” in general, and not how one solitary Depot author, seems to pretty consistently feel about him.
    And yes, as a person who is Pro-Pot, Pro-Steeler Players, and Pro-Bryant, I’ll never shirk from the fact that I believe his career has been harmed through arcane and asinine rules, and that because of that, he becomes a more sympathetic person to me and others like me. I root for the guys who are on this team TO SUCCEED. Unlike so many other “fans” who’d rather have a pound of flesh when possible because they are sadists, racists, have never and can never play the game themselves, are jealous/envious, and are simply angry at the world by hideous nature.

  • Reggie Cunningham

    I like MB but can we get rid of Eli

  • Shannon Stephenson

    MB at this pace will have about 55-60 receptions for about 550-660 yards and 3 TDs. It seems a little light and I am not happy with his performance and he seems to be going through the motions to me however his ability to stretch the field cannot be looked at lightly which makes teams play back opening up the underneath routes.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I’d rather get rid of Hunter.

  • PittShawnC

    That’s interesting…so stats are established based on round drafted and regardless of whether it takes two seasons or twelve, if you reach them your career is considered above average.

    Love PFR but haven’t delved too much into AV value. But maybe MB will climb past Calvin Sweeney on the Steelers all-time 4th R WR list. Gotta ways to go to catch Thigpen and Stallworth.

  • JNick

    Feel free to name who that vet FA is going to be next year. I’ve looked over the list and honestly, I don’t see a ton of deals or value in deals with who is now slated to be available. The WR FA market generally pays those guys higher than they are worth because teams clamor for WRs. Cotchery was a rare find and had great chemistry here. Remember too, he left Pittsburgh and got paid after his productive time here. Lance Moore wasn’t very productive. Remember what you are giving up when you trade Bryant is a talented WR, with a history of production for VERY cheap. If you think you can find a cheap vet WR FA for what we are paying Bryant, I’d love to hear it.

  • JNick

    He is a FA next year so we don’t need to get rid of him. He’s likely gone.

  • Kevin artis

    Well, you might be right as I have not done any research on who is out there . But I would rather bring in someone or draft another then to have him running routes half speed, not putting force the effort and causing distractions because he is not part of the offense.
    DHB has the speed he has if we are just using him for a decoy. In my eyes, Bryant runs timidly, already checked out this season mentally, and looking forward to be traded next year as he mentioned that his agent will deal with that in the offseason. I don’t know were Demarcus Ayers and Cobi Hamilton are doing these days but I would rather have them then someone that is not willing to put forth the effort.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I think he was talking about in the context of cutting players. For what purpose I’m not sure, but my point is that I’d rather have Rogers and Hunter on the team if I had to choose one.