Bryant had a tumultuous 2017 with Pittsburgh. He was reinstated last April following an entire missed season due to a suspension stemming from a breach in the league's substance abuse policy. After a middling start to the season in which Bryant saw 10 target's in the Steelers' first four games, the deep-threat receiver requested a trade from the team. No move was made, and while he performed better over the second half of the season, the emergence of rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster made Bryant more expendable as he was previously. The 26-year-old has obvious talent, and a change of scenery might be just what he needs to get his career back on track. He should see ample opportunity in Oakland, where new head coach Jon Gruden is looking to build around gunslinger Derek Carr.
Bryant is drawing interest from other teams, but Steelers general manage Kevin Colbert said the organization isn't interested in trading the wide receiver, Dale Lolley of DKPittsburghSports.com reports.
Bryant returned from his lengthy suspension with a tumultuous 2017 campaign, catching 50 of 84 targets for 603 yards and three touchdowns in 15 games. His lone absence was a healthy scratch in Week 8 when he missed a team meeting and publicly expressed frustration with his role in the Pittsburgh offense, which led to widespread reports that he was seeking a trade. Bryant did have a 42-yard gain and a 36-yard touchdown in Pittsburgh's lone playoff game, but even then he only finished sixth on the team with four targets. While they probably would manage just fine with Antonio Brown and Juju Smith-Schuster leading the way at wideout, the Steelers seemingly aren't inclined to trade Bryant when his value is at a low point, even though he's entering the final year of his rookie contract. The team might quickly change its stance if an early-round pick is offered, given that Bryant is unlikely to stick in Pittsburgh beyond 2018.
Bryant caught two of his four targets for 78 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 45-42 AFC divisional-round loss to Jacksonville.
Bryant didn't see a pass thrown his way until the final seconds of the first half, although it resulted in a 36-yard score. However, he didn't have another target until the final minutes of the game. After sitting out the entire 2016 campaign for substance abuse violations, Bryant returned this season to haul in 50 of his 84 targets for 603 yards and three TDs in 15 contests. The 26-year-old wideout clearly has the talent to produce better numbers than that, but looking ahead, the continued presence of superstar Antonio Brown and promising JuJu Smith-Schuster means that Bryant's path to targets in the Steelers passing game is not always going to be consistent, at least when the aforementioned duo is healthy. Bryant, whose rookie contract runs through next season, is set to earn $705,000 in 2018.
Bryant, who caught six passes (on seven targets) for 65 yards in Sunday's 28-24 win over the Browns, finishes up the 2017 season with 50 catches (on 84 targets) for 603 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran six times for 22 yards and added 151 yards on nine kick returns in 15 games.
This was one of Bryant's better games, as he struggled with consistency all season. The six receptions tied his game-high this season, and the 65 yards was his best effort since Week 2, when he totaled 91 yards. There is no question that Bryant has talent, but he has been vocal about his role in the offense, and with Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster on the roster, that might not change. Bryant is signed until 2019, and most of his annual salary is guaranteed, so he'll likely return next season. In the meantime, Brown is still recovering from a calf injury, so Bryant could play a more significant role than usual when the Steelers take the field in Week 19.
Bryant caught three of four targets for 60 yards and added an eight-yard rush in Monday's 34-6 win over Houston.
Even with Antonio Brown (calf) sidelined, Bryant didn't see nearly as much attention from Ben Roethlisberger as Le'Veon Bell (eight targets) or JuJu Smith-Schuster (seven targets). The mercurial wideout's big-play ability gives him a high ceiling for next week's finale against the mistake-prone Browns, but Bryant's inconsistency also gives him a low floor.
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|