Bills reportedly tried to get in on trade talks for Martavis Bryant last season
Steelers didn't trade Bryant then and they aren't looking to move him now
Last season didn't go as planned for Martavis Bryant, who was suspended for all of 2016 for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. Instead of becoming an integral part of the Steelers' passing game in 2017 -- and benefitting from lining up alongside Antonio Brown -- he was outshone by rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Bryant finished with 50 catches for 603 yards but set career lows in yards per reception (12.1) and touchdowns (3). Frustrations boiled over during the season when Bryant reportedly asked to be traded and was inactive for a game as a result of comments he made on social media. The Bills, according to ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler, were interested in trading for Bryant last season, which makes sense given the lack of receiving threats on their roster.
Running back LeSean McCoy led the Bills in receptions (59), tight end Charles Clay led the team in receiving yards (558) and wideout Andre Holmes, who was targeted just 22 times all season, had a team-high three touchdowns. Rookie Zay Jones showed big-play potential, but he was also targeted 74 times and had just 27 receptions. It explains why Buffalo traded for Kelvin Benjamin, the 6-5 wideout formerly a Panthers first-rounder.
So it stands to reason that not only will the Bills target a wide receiver this offseason, Bryant's name could still be at the top of that list. But according to CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora, the Steelers aren't interested in trading Bryant because 6-4 receivers who can run 4.4 40s aren't exactly easy to come by, even if they are occasionally mercurial.
This makes sense; Bryant will make $705,000 in the final year of his rookie deal and if he approaches his potential the Steelers' offense will be better than it was a season ago.
Meanwhile, it's slim pickins' among wide receivers about to hit free agency. The Dolphins have already used the franchise tag on Jarvis Landry and names like Mike Wallace, Paul Richardson or Marqise Lee don't instill fear in opposing defenses. The Bills have two first-round picks and they could target a wideout in the draft or package those picks in an effort to trade for Landry, who may not be in Miami when the season opens. The problem with bringing Landry to Buffalo, however, is that any new contract he signs will pay him north of $14 million a year -- that's a lot for a player who averaged a pedestrian 8.8 yards per reception a season ago.
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