Martavis Bryant, a 32-year-old wide receiver, may not be a familiar name to many NFL fans now. However, he is eager to remind them of his skills.
After a five-year suspension due to substance abuse policy violations, Bryant is making a comeback in the NFL. He recently signed a reserve/future contract with the Dallas Cowboys. This new opportunity allows him to revive his career and show what he's capable of once again.
Bryant joined the NFL in 2014 when the Pittsburgh Steelers selected him in the fourth round. He had a strong start, scoring eight touchdowns in his rookie season of 10 games.
In 2015, he had his best year with 50 catches, 765 yards, and six touchdowns, teaming up with Antonio Brown. Bryant made a notable playoff play called "The Immaculate Extension," where he made a spectacular catch, leaving a lasting impression on fans.
Bryant initially had a promising future, but problems outside of the game affected his career. He faced a four-game suspension in 2015 and a full-season suspension in 2016 for breaking the substance abuse policy.
Despite returning in 2017, he wasn't satisfied with his position and asked for a trade. The Steelers agreed and traded him to the Oakland Raiders in 2018.
Bryant didn't stay with the Raiders for long, and it wasn't a successful time. In just eight games, he caught 19 passes for 266 yards but didn't score any touchdowns.
His troubles continued as he got suspended indefinitely by the NFL in December 2018 for not meeting the conditions of his reinstatement. He applied for reinstatement in 2020, but it took until November 2023 for the league to finally approve his return.
While suspended, Bryant worked to stay fit and connected to the game. In 2021, he joined the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League but was released without playing. He then joined the Edmonton Elks but was cut again before the season.
In 2023, he got back in action with the XFL, playing for the Vegas Vipers. In eight games, he made 14 catches for 154 yards, displaying glimpses of his past abilities.
The Dallas Cowboys noticed Bryant's good play in the XFL and invited him for a tryout in November 2023. They liked his size, speed, and skills, so they added him to their practice squad. He spent the rest of the season on the practice squad, learning the team's playbook and getting along with his teammates.
However, in January 2024, he was let go to make space for offensive lineman La’el Collins. Despite this, the Cowboys intended to bring him back by offering him a futures contract.
Martavis Bryant spoke to the media on Wednesday, ready to make the most of his second NFL chance.
This Wednesday, the Cowboys confirmed they signed Bryant again, securing a place for him in their 90-man offseason roster. He'll be vying for a position in the Cowboys' talented group of receivers, including standouts like CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper, and Michael Gallup.
Additionally, he'll reunite with his former Steelers teammate, Dez Bryant, who returned to the Cowboys in 2023 after being away from the NFL for three years.
Bryant understands it won't be easy to secure a spot on the final roster, but he's thankful for the chance and determined to make it count. He mentioned learning from his past errors and being dedicated to his family and faith. Bryant expressed his continued love for the game and his belief that he has a lot to contribute.
In addition, he made the statement "I'm just blessed to be here. I'm thankful for the Cowboys for giving me a chance. I'm ready to work hard and show them what I can do. I still have a lot of gas in the tank. I still have a lot of goals that I want to achieve. I'm not done yet."
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