Many are wondering why the Pittsburgh Steelers decided to trade Martavis Bryant on draft night. The fact of the matter is that the Oakland Raiders made an offer the Pittsburgh Steelers would be crazy to refuse.
Martavis Bryant was not going to play beyond 2018 on the Pittsburgh Steelers. I knew that, you knew that, we all knew that. Bryant, who has been suspended three times by the NFL, and who got into a locker room beef with teammate and fellow wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster understood his days were numbered in Pittsburgh.
After all of the suspensions, the team stopped trusting him. When the Steelers drafted Smith-Schuster, Bryant stopped trusting the Steelers. The relationship was falling apart. However, the team knew that they had to hold onto him for one more season.
Bryant would be an unrestricted free agent in 2019. Given his talent level, there is a chance he would see some real money on an open market. Especially if he were to show up, do his job, not complain about a full season in Pittsburgh. That would be the hope for Pittsburgh.
Both the Steelers and Bryant were in the market of boosting the stock of Bryant. If Bryant has a strong 2018, he gets paid on an open market. The Steelers, on the otherhand, let Bryant walk, but collect a compensatory pick. Had Bryant put up a strong season, the Steelers would have at best received a late third round compensatory pick.
The Oakland Raiders traded the 11th overall pick in the third round for Martavis Bryant.
We are not looking at what the Raiders got in Bryant the player. If they sign him long term, great. However, to trade a high third round pick for a player one year away from free agency, one joint away from being kicked out of the league, and one more locker room incident away from being labeled and unfixable enigma is risky, to say the least.
Especially considering that Bryant was going to cost no draft equity in about ten months. Want to overpay him? Overpay him on an open market next year. Why overpay in terms of draft pick, only to have to overpay him on the open market next year again anyway? I guess Jon Gruden is a bit rusty.
The Steelers will take it though. They will likely take the Bryant replacement with that very selection. 24 hours ago they saw their best bet in compensation being a 2019 late third for Martavis Bryant. That was the most Bryant could net them as an asset. Then Jon Gruden came in and gave them an early third round pick in 2018.
The Steelers drafted Martavis Bryant in round four. He played three seasons and they got a third-round pick back. The Steelers got more than could have hoped for. They unloaded a locker room problem a year early, and they have the ammo to replace him this weekend. Not a bad haul.