Former Steelers WR Martavis Bryant Finds New NFL Home: Report

Martavis Bryant

Getty Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant has reportedly signed with the Dallas Cowboys practice squad.

Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant officially received his reinstatement to the NFL on November 4. It took just three days after that for him to find his next team.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported on November 7 that Bryant is signing a contract to join the practice squad of the Dallas Cowboys.

“Breaking news in the NFL: The Dallas Cowboys are signing newly-reinstated wide receiver Martavis Bryant to a contract, according to sources,” Charania wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “Bryant, who last played for the Raiders in 2018, had 17 touchdowns and 2,183 receiving in 44 career games.”

Bryant played 36 of those 44 games with the Steelers. From 2014-17, he posted 126 receptions, 1,917 yards and 17 touchdowns in Pittsburgh.

As a rookie in 2014, Bryant scored 8 touchdowns and recorded 21.1 yards per reception.

Most recently, he played for the then Oakland Raiders in 2018. Bryant registered 19 catches for 266 yards in eight games for the Raiders.

Martavis Bryant Back in NFL After Five-Year Absence

The Steelers drafted Bryant in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL draft. He was one of many rookie wideouts that stood out that season.

The 2014 draft class included Davante Adams, Mike Evans, Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Sammy Watkins, Allen Robinson, and Brandin Cooks. After his rookie year, Bryant appeared to be on his way to being one of the better receivers in that group.

But to begin his second season, Bryant sat out the first four games with a suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. During his suspension, he spent time at a rehabilitation center.

Bryant returned to record a career-high 50 receptions and 765 receiving yards in 2015.

Prior to his third year, though, the NFL suspended Bryant for the entire 2016 season for  violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy again. The league conditionally reinstated him prior to the 2017 season.

After the 2017 season, the Steelers traded Bryant to the Raiders for a third-round pick. In December 2018, the NFL suspended Bryant indefinitely for violating the terms of his conditional reinstatement.

Bryant applied for reinstatement to the league in 2019. The NFL, however, didn’t give him the opportunity to return until November 2023.

Bryant last played in an NFL football game almost exactly five years ago. He caught 3 passes for 17 yards in his last NFL appearance on November 11, 2018.

Bryant Signs Deal to Join Cowboys Practice Squad

With the addition of Bryant, the Cowboys have added wide receiver depth. But it could be awhile before the receiver appears in an NFL game.

“With the Cowboys signing WR Martavis Bryant to the practice squad, my understanding there is currently no immediate plans to elevate him,” CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson wrote on X. “With Bryant’s recent reinstatement by the Commissioner, Dallas wants to methodically take time to evaluate him and see if he can add to what they have.

“Bryant clearly had no camp & still needs to learn their offensive system. They will ‘see how it goes.'”

CeeDee Lamb leads the Cowboys with 57 receptions and 824 receiving yards. He also has 3 touchdowns.

But no other Dallas wide receiver has more than 22 catches or 243 receiving yards. Those are the totals for the team’s No. 2 wideout Michael Gallup.

Cooks, who, again, was part of Bryant’s same draft class, has 17 receptions for 162 yards and 2 touchdowns for Dallas this season.

In his prime, Bryant could have easily been an excellent compliment for Lamb and a deep-threat in Dallas’ offense. But it will be interesting to see what the now 31-year-old has to offer after five years away from the league.

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