Well, that question may be academic, at least for the time being. On Saturday, Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero—both of whom toil for NFL Network and NFL.com—reported that Bryant has yet to apply for reinstatement from his indefinite suspension, so he is unlikely to play in 2020.
This isn’t to say that NFL teams aren’t interested in Bryant. Rapoport indicates that “multiple” teams have inquired about his services, but he “has more work to be done” before returning to the NFL is a possibility.
Martavis Bryant’s Career Earnings
Being that he’s still just 28 years old, it seems Bryant still has a little time left to add to his career earnings, which according to overthecap.com total approximately $3.2 million, close to half of which was paid out by the Raiders, despite the fact that he only appeared in 8 games for Oakland.
As a fourth-round draft choice in 2014, the Steelers got much more for their investment. Bryant caught 126 passes for 1,917 yards and 17 touchdowns during his time in Pittsburgh, paying out a total of $1.864 million or so over the course of four years.
All of this is a relatively paltry amount of money for a receiver who has $10 million-plus per year talent, as evidenced by the many splash plays he made for the Steelers, including three touchdown catches of 80+ yards in his first 11 games in the NFL.
That includes this incredible catch-and-run versus the Arizona Cardinals—a simple slant route on which he beats cornerback Tyrann Mathieu and then runs away from most of the Cardinals’ defense on the way to an 88-yard touchdown.
Not to mention this freakish 94-yard touchdown catch in which he literally runs away from Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Leon Hall.
The Martavis Bryant Trade Yielded Mason Rudolph
Of course, the Steelers eventually gave up on Bryant when the Raiders offered a third-round draft pick in exchange for his services—a pick the Steelers didn’t utilize directly, as it became part of the package used to trade up three spots to #76 overall to select quarterback Mason Rudolph in 2018.
It remains to be seen whether that trade-up was a deal worth making. As of today, Pittsburgh’s backup QB situation is sometimes referred to as one of the biggest roster holes in the NFL. But with two years remaining on Ben Roethlisberger’s pricey contract, the Steelers can’t really afford to add an established veteran to the team, and are almost obliged to give Rudolph another opportunity to show he’s something more or less than Neil O’Donnell. Rudolph is scheduled to earn $836,554 in salary in 2020 and $1,041,801 in 2021.
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