Receiver Martavis Bryant, a once-promising talent who ended up on the wrong side of the substance-abuse policy and eventually stayed there, has been reinstated by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The move officially happened on Saturday.
A fourth-round pick of the Steelers in 2014, Bryant played two seasons in Pittsburgh before being suspended for all of 2016. After returning to the Steelers for the 2017 season, Bryant was traded to the Raiders in 2018. The Raiders cut him in September and then re-signed him 10 days later, even though he was reportedly facing an indefinite suspension under the policy.
He played until December, and he was suspended after suffering a season-ending knee injury.
Bryant and other players who had been suspended for a minimum of one year (e.g., Josh Gordon) got lost in the shuffle, quite frankly, when the NFL and NFL Players Association essentially decriminalized marijuana and other non-PED drugs in the 2020 labor deal. It’s unclear why Bryant wasn’t reinstated sooner, and it’s unclear why he’s being reinstated now.
It’s also unclear whether anyone will be interested in Bryant. He turns 32 next month, and he last played in a game on November 11, 2018.
Bryant played for the Vegas Vipers of the XFL in 2013. In eight games, he caught only 14 passes for 154 yards.