Bryant confirmed to reporters (per Fowler) that he is not playing on Sunday. When asked why, Bryant said: “Social media.”
Moving forward, Bryant says he plans to be quiet and let things play out.
“If I’m not traded I’m going to work my butt off here, and whatever happens happens,” Bryant said, per Jeremy Fowler. “You’re not going to hear me complaining no more. I’m just going to be quiet and let everything fall into place.”
Steelers HC Mike Tomlin made it clear yesterday that they were going to handle the situation internally, even though they have no intention of trading Bryant at this time.
Bryant told ESPN’s Josina Anderson (per Jeremy Fowler) that unless his role in the team’s offense changes, he wants out of Pittsburgh.
“I just want to be happy, whether it’s here or it’s somewhere else. I just want to help contribute,” Bryant said, per Anderson. “I just want to be the best player that I can be on and off the field…and I want to be given the chance to be that. If it ain’t here then, so be it, then it’ll be somewhere else. But, I would like for it to be here, but if not, then oh well. Just got to move on.”
On Monday, Bryant did not show up for required team meetings on Monday and a teammate said the receiver “called in sick,” according to Ed Bouchette.
Bryant also took a shot at rookie WR JuJu Smith-Schuster while responding to a post on Instagram: “JuJu is no where near better than me, fool. All they need to do is give me what I want and y’all can have JuJu and whoever else.”
This comes just a week after reports surfaced that Bryant had requested a trade out of Pittsburgh.
Bryant, 25, was selected by the Steelers in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL draft. He’s currently in the third year of his four-year, $2.7 million rookie contract and stands to make a base salary of $690,000 for the 2017 season.
Bryant was suspended for the entire 2016 season for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy and returned to the team coming out of the preseason this year.
In 2017, Bryant appeared in five games for the Steelers and totaled 18 receptions, 234 receiving yards and one touchdown for the Steelers. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 84 receiver out of 115 qualifying players.
We’ll have more regarding a potential trade as the news is available.