Agent: Martavis Bryant ‘heartbroken that he’s not allowed to play’
Martavis Bryant is sitting out the 2016 NFL season after being suspended without pay for a minimum of one year for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. But according to his agent, the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver is doing everything to prevent such a situation of ever happening again.
Brian Fettner, Bryant’s agent, released a statement indicating that his “heartbroken” client is living in Nevada and is “focused not to let it happen again,” according to a tweet from Tom Pelissero.
As #Steelers report to camp, banished WR Martavis Bryant is living in Nevada. Can apply for reinstatement in January pic.twitter.com/C3QPyrPG93
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 27, 2016
Bryant previously served a four-game suspension at the onset of the 2015 NFL season due to multiple violations of the league’s substance abuse policy. Fettner confirmed Bryant missed multiple drug tests and stated at the time of Bryant’s most recent ban that wideout is dealing with mental health issues.
“We’re all stunned, me included,” Fettner said in March. “We clearly miscalculated the issue. His isn’t a party issue. It’s a coping issue and a depression issue, and he’s got to take care of it.”
Reports at the time indicated Bryant elected to enter treatment and undergo evaluation for depression.
Bryant’s absence from the Steelers lineup — which will at this point also be lacking Le’Veon Bell’s presence for the team’s first four games — is a potentially devastating blow. The Steelers obviously boast a lethal passing attack, but Bryant’s contributions cannot be underestimated.
In 21 games over two seasons, Bryant has 76 receptions for 1,314 yards — a 17.3 yard-per-catch average — to go along with 14 touchdowns.
The hope for the Steelers is that Bryant figures out how to address and treat his off-field issues, avoids trouble during his suspension and is focused on his career heading into the 2017 season.
[H/T Steelers Depot]