Martavis Bryant Potential Landing Spots

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BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 01: Martavis Bryant #10 of the Pittsburgh Steelers leaves the field after taking on the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
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It’s no secret that Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant is unhappy. He feels he’s not getting enough touches and he could help the Steelers offense if the football was in his hands more. Going into Pittsburgh’s Week seven game against the Cincinnati Bengals it was reported that the former Clemson receiver had requested a trade. Bryant disputed those claims, but then he had one rush for two yards and one catch for three yards in the Steelers 29-14 win at home over the Bengals and he has now taken to Instagram to voice his frustrations, writing,

“I just want mines, period, point-blank.”

Previous to that statement, Bryant went after Steelers rookie receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who has had a better season than Bryant, in a now deleted comment, saying,

“JuJu is nowhere near better than me, fool. All they [Steelers] need to do is give me what I want and y’all can have JuJu and whoever else.”

Later in those comments Bryant did pay Smith-Schuster a compliment, saying,

“JuJu is the future and got great talent.”

Bryant also made some comments to ESPN late Sunday to clarify his position, but then he was also a no show at the team’s facility on Monday.

Martavis Bryant Potential Landing Spots

It’s not always a good idea for teams to cave into trade/playing time demands for unhappy players; it sets a bad precedent that whining is a way for a player to get what he wants. Bryant’s rookie contract is up after next season (assuming the Steelers pick up his option for the 2018 season) and he has already stated he will not re-sign with Pittsburgh.

The disgruntled receiver has been suspended multiple times, including the entire 2016 season, for violating the NFL’s drug policy. Trading Bryant might prove difficult, but it is possible that a team who needs an impact receiver would want to trade for Bryant, since his salary cap hit is low this season and next. The Steelers may also want to rid themselves of Bryant and move on with the talent they have. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has stated that Bryant is not available via trade, but that could be a tactic to drive up the price. If a trade does indeed happen (the NFL trade deadline is Oct. 31), here are some landing spots that make sense.

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears traded up to the number two overall spot in this year’s draft to select Mitch Trubisky (who now goes by Mitchell) out of UNC. Trubisky is an intriguing prospect and he might actually be the Bears signal caller of the future, but Chicago is severely lacking in production at the wide receiver position, especially with the talented Kevin White on injured reserve.

In the Bears Week seven win over the Carolina Panthers Trubisky completed four-of-seven passes for 107 yards with no touchdowns. That low output is a function of Trubisky still getting accustomed to the NFL, the Bears having some talent at running back, in Tarik Cohen and Jordan Howard, and the team needing some talent at receiver. Bryant could be that difference maker at receiver who could make an impact on the Bears offense.

Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys currently sit at 3-3 and are tied for second place in the NFC East with the Washington Redskins. The Cowboys need to make sure they keep pace with Washington and the Philadelphia Eagles (6-1). To do that they need to continue to put up points (27.5 per game, good for seventh in the league) since their defense is allowing 23.7 points per game (22nd most in the league). Ideally their defense will improve too, and it might, but Bryant would add a dimension to the Cowboys offense that they are missing right now.

Terrance Williams simply has not produced for the Cowboys in 2017. For the season Williams has 19 receptions on 28 targets for 180 yards and no touchdowns. Dez Bryant, the team’s number one receiver, has not been the downfield threat he has been in the past. Bryant could be a player who helps stretch the field for the Cowboys and opens up the rest of the field for Bryant and Cole Beasley.

New Orleans Saints

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a future Hall of Famer, but he’s entering the back nine of this career. The Saints began the season 0-2, but then rattled off four straight wins, thanks in large part to the defense finally looking like a unit that could make stops. But the Saints are in “win now mode” and they need to make sure they are not wasting what is left of Brees.

New Orleans does have some salary cap issues thanks to some ill-advised signings, but they could make Bryant’s contract work, since it is a rookie deal. The Saints could make a trade and get roughly at least a season and a half out of Bryant. With Willie Snead serving a three-game suspension at the beginning of the season for a DWI arrest and then dealing with a hamstring injury, the Saints could benefit from Bryant’s services.

Bryant may have some maturing to do, but he could certainly help another NFL team, the rest of this season and next, at a minimum.

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