Martavis Bryant reportedly requests trade, but Steelers plan to keep him
Bryant is reportedly upset with his role in the offense
The Steelers won a big game on Sunday, when they went into Kansas City to knock off the previously unbeaten Chiefs, but all is not well in Pittsburgh.
A few hours after the Steelers' big win, which moved them to 4-2 on the season, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that receiver Martavis Bryant is "unhappy" and recently requested a trade. He's apparently ready for a new start.
ESPN's Dan Graziano reported that Bryant isn't happy with his role in the offense:
Source confirms Steelers WR Martavis Bryant has requested a trade, as [Rapoport] reported. Request was made weeks ago, source says. Bryant spoke with Steelers coaches ahead of Week 5 game, asking to be more involved in the offense. He's upset with target share distribution and sub packages that swap him out for rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster. Bryant returned this year from a one-year drug suspension and is signed through 2018.
According to ESPN's Jeremey Fowler, the Steelers do not plan on trading him.
Bryant took to Twitter to shoot down the reports.
The trade deadline is Oct. 31, so if a deal gets done, it'll need to come together in a hurry. The first team that popped into my head? The Chicago Bears, who are in desperate need of a quality, young receiver after losing Cameron Meredith and Kevin White (again) for the season. Rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky could use a downfield threat.
And Bryant is certainly explosive. He began his career with the Steelers in 2014 as a fourth-round pick. In 26 regular-season games, he's caught 91 passes for 1,518 yards and 15 touchdowns. In three playoff games, he's added 19 receptions, 244 yards and two touchdowns. His potential is off the charts. The issue is his consistency and ability to stay on the field.
In 2015, he missed four games with a marijuana-related suspension. He missed all of last year for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy again. He was reinstated for this season, but he's yet to produce like a star receiver. That's not entirely his fault, considering Ben Roethlisberger has been arguably the league's worst deep ball passer this season. But his slow start and history of failed drug tests will likely drive down his price on the trade market, which might make it difficult for the Steelers to find a deal they find adequate.
Bryant is still only 25 and oozes potential, so plenty of receiver-needy teams should show some interest.
A previous version of this article said that Bryant was under contract through the 2017 season. He's actually under contract through the 2018 season.
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