A talented young wide receiver is unhappy with his role. He’s disgruntled by the lack of balls thrown his way and saying things like, “closed mouths don’t get fed,” or “I got to go.” Fluff pieces on blogs across the Internet are being written about his possible fantasy football impact, or whether his team’s head coach still has a feel for the pulse of the locker room.
(That’s rhetorical. You know what this is about.)
Sean Payton and the Saints traded Cooks away for far less than Bryant has done. Even at his worst-behaved, Cooks was making one-off cryptic Instagram posts and making off-the-cuff remarks to reporters. Bryant is making a legitimate nightmare situation in Pittsburgh, wasting head coach Mike Tomlin’s time and sniping at his younger, more-talented teammates like rookie wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Things most recently came to a head when Bryant was demoted to the scout team and deactivated for Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions. Tomlin has been very clear in the Steelers’ valuation of Bryant, though it’s fair to wonder if they’re just waiting for the right trade offer:
"We've invested a lot in Martavis since we drafted him. He's not available via trade. We've invested a lot. We've covered a lot of ground. It's obvious that we still got more ground to cover with him because were having a conversation about him that's not football related. But we have, he's done a lot in the period of time that he's been here in terms of improving, not only as a player but as a man. But we still got a ways to go. He was out of bounds with some of his actions, in terms of the things that he said on social media."
So, maybe Bryant will be moved ahead of next week’s NFL trade deadline. But the Saints shouldn’t make up for dodging the Cooks headache (how great is Ryan Ramczyk playing, by the way? He’s been exceptional.) by bringing in a showboater like Bryant, who has already gone through the season-long suspension some fans are hand-wringing over Kenny Vaccaro someday receiving. Look elsewhere for a new face at wide receiver and stop @ing me and others on Twitter about it.
One last thing: don’t buy the literal fake news about Jimmy Graham returning to New Orleans this year via trade from the Seattle Seahawks. That’s a baseless rumor and we should wait until he’s a free agent next March before getting fired up about it, so save your energy.