The Pittsburgh Steelers were expecting a lot from wide receiver Martavis Bryant coming off a year-long suspension in 2016 and team president Art Rooney admitted on Thursday that things weren’t going as planned.
However, despite a trade rumor popping up last weekend, Rooney wanted to make it clear that the organization was not shopping Bryant.
“We’re not looking to trade Martavis,” Rooney told Gerry Dulac the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “He was out of football for a year. Maybe some of us had higher expectations how quickly he could get back up to full speed, but he’s making progress.”
NFL Network originally reported the trade and the Post-Gazette went on to confirm that a representative of Bryant had asked for a trade because he was unhappy with his role in the offense. However, Bryant denied it during the week and claimed that he was happy in Pittsburgh.
Still, it’s pretty clear to see that things haven’t been clicking between Bryant, starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and offensive coordinator Todd Haley thus far. Bryant has just 17 catches for 231 yards and a score in six games this season.
That’s an average of just 38.5 yards per game, which is a far cry from the 69.5 yards per game he averaged in 2015. He’s also gone from seeing 8.4 targets per game in that season to 5.7 in 2017.
But Rooney believes progress is being made and that he has the potential to make a larger impact on the offense as the season goes on.
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