Raiders WR Released for Martavis Bryant Reacts on Social Media

Keon Hatcher

Getty Keon Hatcher was released by the Oakland Raiders in favor of Martavis Bryant.

Less than two weeks ago, the Oakland Raiders and head coach Jon Gruden made the decision to roll with a young wideout in Keon Hatcher over Martavis Bryant. The move came during 53-man roster cuts, and while it was somewhat surprising, Hatcher was coming off a superb preseason performance in which he caught eight passes for 128 yards and three touchdowns.

Simply put, Hatcher earned his spot on the roster, and with Bryant potentially facing a suspension from the league, the decision made sense.

But after just one game for the Raiders, a 33-13 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, Gruden, and the staff opted to make a big change. Not only did they re-sign Bryant, but opted to release Hatcher, who took to social media and made a bit of a cryptic post shortly after the news.

You can’t fault Hatcher for being a bit confused and/or frustrated. Especially when you consider Gruden actually told reporters that Hatcher had outperformed Bryant this preseason.

“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.

Hatcher, who is an undrafted free agent out of Arkansas had finally been given his opportunity to showcase his talent on a 53-man roster, and it was pulled after just one single game. To make matters worse, as Football Outsiders shows, Hatcher didn’t play a single offensive snap against the Rams. All 16 of his snaps in the matchup came on special teams, as the Raiders opted to use just three receivers in Jordy Nelson (72 snaps), Amari Cooper (69) and Seth Roberts (47).

As for the signing of Bryant, it’s certainly interesting, but it doesn’t mean he’s out of the clear in terms of a potential suspension.

Just days ago, ESPN’s Adam Schefter revealed Bryant is currently facing a yearlong suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. On the surface, it seems the Raiders were willing to bring back the high-upside wideout while awaiting word on his potential suspension.

If Bryant is indeed suspended, it’ll be interesting to see what route Gruden and the Raiders go to find a potential replacement. But that’s a story and situation to be sorted out another day.

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