One of the rumors going around NFL circles before the trade deadline at 4 o’clock today had been that Martavis Bryant could be traded. Now, that was quickly refuted by Mike Tomlin, but still multiple teams contacted them and asked about a price for Bryant. There are many reasons the Steelers could have traded Martavis:
1. Off the field actions- Firdt and foremost, Bryant has not been able to keep himself under control since the Steelers drafted him. Last year, he was suspended for the entire year for testing positive in a drug test, which wasn’t his first offense. But the problem isnt just substance abuse, it’s also his behavior. After the Steelers kept Bryant through all his suspensions, he has complained this year multiple times about not getting enough playing time, but meanwhile has been the second most targeted player on the team behind Antonio Brown. He has whined to reporters and anyone else who will listen. Martavis was provoked by a fan on one of JuJu Smith-Schuster’s Instagram posts where he responded with a ranting message that said in a nutshell that he was way better than JuJu and all the receiver said on the team. The post was later deleted, but the damage was already done. Coach Tomlin deactivated Bryant for the Lions game last Sunday, saying that his behavior was “unacceptable”.
2. On the Field- Bryant hasn’t played bad this year, but he has had his fair share of drops and bad routes. The main problem for him here is JuJu Smith-Schuster. The young rookie has had a huge start to the season, and just added to his growing legend with a 97 yard TD catch in the Lions game. JuJu is on track to be a top receiver someday, and that makes Martavis expendable, especially with receivers such as Antonio Brown and Eli Rogers on the team. Justin Hunter is also on the rise.
In summary, I think that the Steelers should have traded Martavis Bryant before the trade deadline. He has already explicitly said that he plans to walk out when his contract expires, so why not get something for him now?