I know your first thought when you read the headline was Josh Gordon, but let me stop you there and tell you it's not Josh Gordon.
There's actually another long-suspended wide receiver who once flashed plenty of upside and was recently reinstated, and the Dallas Cowboys think he might be the right fit for their offense.
Cowboys News: Martavis Bryant Workout
Martavis Bryant has been reinstated by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and in his attempt to return to the NFL, he will work out for the Cowboys on Tuesday.
Bryant was initially suspended for the entire 2016 season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. He was conditionally reinstated, but violated those conditions and has been suspended since the middle of the 2018 season. He first applied for reinstatement (again) in 2019, but only now has Goodell finally cleared him.
I'm not going to sit here and make things up about Bryant's off-field life or what went on between him and Goodell (the league keeps these things private for a reason), but there are obviously some big potential implications football-wise here.
Bryant burst onto the scene as a rookie in 2014, looking like one of the most explosive receivers in the NFL. He averaged over 20 yards per reception and had 8 touchdowns on just 26 catches with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
He never hit those heights again, but he still averaged 15.1 yards per catch with 17 touchdowns on 145 receptions over his 44 NFL games.
Of course, the last time Bryant stepped on an NFL field was November 11, 2018. That might as well be a decade in football years. Cole Beasley led Dallas WRs in receptions that year, and 2023 first-round pick Mazi Smith was still just a junior in high school.
And it’s not like he’s shown us much to be excited about since. The Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts signed Brown in 2021, but he was suspended for failing to show up to training camp. Then he was signed and cut by the Edmonton Elks in 2022, never playing a single CFL game. He then played in the Fan Controlled Football League and most recently had an uninspiring 14 receptions for 154 yards across 8 XFL games.
That said, it's still worth working Bryant out to see if he has anything left in the tank. Maybe getting to play in the NFL again gives him the motivation he needs to live up to that potential again. But I think it's far more likely the Cowboys see that Bryant isn't going to offer much and pass on a guy who hasn't spent more than one year on the same pro football roster since 2017.
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