The speculation this week has been rampant and often led fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers to the wrong conclusions about what went on with Martavis Bryant’s trade demand. What is 100% fact is that Bryant’s agent did in fact approach the Steelers and General Manager Kevin Colbert about the possibility of trading his client. This occurred prior to the Jacksonville game.
Two different sources have confirmed to us that Bryant’s agent not only requested a trade but did so without Bryant’s knowledge. Therefore, it may be more difficult to say that number 10 was lying when he spoke to reporters on Monday. That said, we have to believe that Bryant and his agent had conversations about this. Perhaps Bryant did not give his express consent and the agent thought otherwise.
So what in the hell is going on then?
Bryant’s agent is a man named Tom Santanello. It’s been widely reported that it was he who helped get Bryant into rehab and was the one who got him set up in Nevada with a place to live and train during his year-long suspension. Therefore, one would think that this man has the absolute best interests in mind for his client. That is probably where this whole thing went wrong.
The Steelers believe that Santanello may have been acting in “his own best interests” when he requested the trade. Let’s think about this for a minute because it does make some sense. Bryant’s agent sees him being the third fiddle to Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell while believing his client to be worthy of so much more.
He then tabulates the numbers (especially the overall targets and touches) of Bryant so far this season and sees a guy being very under-utilized. Throw in the fact that his client has cost the Steelers a lot in terms of public image and hey, maybe they’re ready to move on from him.
Bryant averaged 46.45 snaps in 2015, averages 47.5 this year.
Averaged 8.36 targets per game in 2015 , averages 5.67 this year. But has also had two games with 6 targets & 2 catches and 8 targets with 2 catches.
Where his line of thinking goes wrong is in a couple of places. Why would the Steelers part with a guy of his overwhelming physical abilities when A. They can’t get nearly enough in return and B. They’ve already shown such patience with him? Remember also that the Steelers retain his rights through the end of next season. I guarantee that the Steelers would need an offer so lucrative that only a fool could turn it down in order to make such a move… And that isn’t happening.
Bryant’s agent acting in his own best interests is nothing new. It’s been done before and it will be done again. In this particular case though it has placed unnecessary burden on a guy still struggling to get his “football legs” back after a year away. The best news of all out of this is how quickly his teammates dismissed it and completely squashed it through humor. That’s a great sign that the locker room is united behind him regardless of how it came to be.