The 2018 NFL offseason has been a whirlwind for the Oakland Raiders in a variety of ways. Beyond trading superstar pass-rusher Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears, they’ve made a plethora of other deals, released an All-Pro punter in Marquette King and opted to cut both of their backup quarterbacks just ahead of Week 1.
And then there was the Martavis Bryant situation.
Bryant was acquired by the Raiders and head coach Jon Gruden during one of their multiple offseason trades. This one came during the 2018 NFL Draft, and the team gave up a third-round pick for the electrifying pass-catcher. Unfortunately, a mixture of struggles on the field during training camp and some concern about a potential suspension led to the Raiders releasing Bryant during 53-man roster cuts.
But it seems Gruden isn’t ready to throw in the towel on the former Pittsburgh Steelers receiver just yet. During his recent interview, the Raiders coach spoke about releasing Bryant.
“We expected more from him [Martavis Bryant]. He did not make the team because Keon Hatcher came on, some other players outperformed him.” Gruden told reporters.
When asked if the team made a miscalculation giving up a third-round for Bryant, Gruden made it known he didn’t believe it was a mistake and wouldn’t close the door on potentially bringing him back next year.
“I don’t think so. I think the guy is a superb talent, the guy’s got great talent … not everything is a perfect science, but we’ll be criticized for that. It was a risk, I think, well worth taking. Perhaps we get Martavis again next year and we can get the best out of him.” Gruden stated.
It’s certainly disappointing the Raiders gave up a fairly high pick for the wideout only to release him months later. While we don’t know the status of a potential suspension for Bryant, nor where the Raiders will stand at receiver next offseason, Gruden is at least somewhat open to considering the reunion.