HEADLINE

Raiders reportedly bring back WR Martavis Bryant

The Sports Xchange

September 11, 2018 at 10:04 pm.

ALAMEDA, Calif. — Action, reaction. Or maybe it was the lack of action.

Regardless, because the Oakland Raiders could not stretch the Los Angeles Rams defense, they extended their tolerance level to cope with the issues attached to wide receiver Martavis Bryant, whom they signed Tuesday after cutting him in the cutdown to 53 players.

Numerous outlets reported the signing, but the Raiders have not made it official.

The deal is reported to be for one year.

Bryant, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound fast (4.42 seconds in 40 yards), athletic receiver, was drafted in the fourth round in 2014 by the Pittsburgh Steelers, but spent most of the next two years on suspension by the NFL for violating the league’s banned substance policy. He missed the entire 2016 season, but returned last year to catch 50 passes for 603 yards and three touchdowns for the Steelers.

On April 26, the Raiders acquired Bryant from the Steelers in exchange for a third round pick (79th overall) in this year’s draft. But Bryant did not perform to Gruden’s expectations in training camp and earlier this month ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Bryant could be facing a one-year suspension for failing an offseason drug test.

So, all things considered, Gruden decided to cut Bryant on Sept. 1. But in Monday night’s loss to the Rams, the Raiders relied on tight end Jared Cook as the prime target — as he set a tight end team record with 180 yards receiving on 12 catches — while No. 1 wide receiver Amari Cooper was thrown to only three times, catching one for nine yards.

When Gruden cut Bryant at the beginning of this month, he deferred questions that suggested he made a mistake to give up a third round pick for the wide receiver.

“I don’t think so,” Gruden responded. “I think the guy is a superb talent. The guy has great talent. We released our second-round draft choice (from) last year and the year before and the year before that. Not everything is a perfect science, but we’ll be criticized for that. It was a risk I thought well worth taking.”

And, apparently, worth the risk again

 

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