Antonio Brown are you serious?! pic.twitter.com/9tYBY3KFRj
— Athlete Swag (@AthleteSwag) October 15, 2017
Despite his lack of personal success on the field, Bryant seemed pleased on Twitter post-victory.
Big win today and tomorrow right back to work tomorrow I am happy to be a steeler and can’t wait to reach number 7 this year.
— Martavis Bryant (@ThaBestUNO) October 16, 2017
But that conflicts with what NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reported that same night.
Sources: #Steelers playmaking WR Martavis Bryant recently requested a trade. His teammates and coaches are well aware that he’s unhappy.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 16, 2017
Bryant’s wife tweeted, then deleted: “Well you guys should’ve seen [a trade request] coming. Taking him off the field, not giving the ball or the chance to reach his full potential.”
In 2014 and 2015, his first two seasons in the NFL, Bryant totaled 15 touchdowns and 1,363 yards while playing in just 21 games due to injury and suspension.
One team’s disgruntled receiver is another’s opportunity to add a tall, speedy downfield receiver who’s on his cheap rookie contract through 2018.
The New York Giants are notably crippled at receiver, losing Odell Beckham and Brandon Marshall for the season and Sterling Shepard indefinitely. But their season is already practically over, and they should be reticent to give up any of the draft assets they clearly need.
Their in-house neighbors, the New York Jets, don’t have much in the way of receivers. But despite their surprising start, they’re also still building their roster up and are likely unwilling to spring for a win-now move.
The Chicago Bears are also perilously thin at wide receiver. Though rookie QB Mitchell Trubisky and his development could likely use the help, Chicago is also rebuilding.
Instead, if Bryant gets traded, he’s more likely to end up on a team that sees itself as contending for a playoff spot this year and next.
He’d make the perfect complement to the middle-of-the-field, yards-after-catch abilities of Golden Tate with the Detroit Lions, who are 3-3 with two teams with injured quarterbacks above them in the standings.
The 3-2 Washington Redskins have little beyond Terrelle Pryor in their receiving corps, and Bryant’s stretching the field could help improve the dismal season of slot man Jamison Crowder.
The Buffalo Bills unloaded a talented wide receiver in Sammy Watkins just before the season began, but find themselves at 3-2 despite calling Jordan Matthews their No. 1 receiver.
The Seattle Seahawks, also 3-2, could use some serious help at receiver, and are typically comfortable with bringing questionable character guys—Bryant has twice been suspended for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, including for all of 2016—into their culture.
Lastly, the Baltimore Ravens are 3-3 despite getting next to no production out of Jeremy Maclin and Mike Wallace. They have only the Steelers ahead of them in the AFC North.