The 2017 NFL trade deadline is two weeks away, and it is possible we see a notable wide receiver name get moved before then. NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport tweeted that Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant has requested a trade. Bryant denied the trade rumor, but his girlfriend appeared to confirm it in a tweet she has since deleted.
Bryant returned to action this year after a season-long 2016 suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. In six games this season, he has 17 receptions for 231 yards and one touchdown. He has seen his targets go up and down, and this past week he had fewer snaps than JuJu Smith-Schuster.
The 49ers could use some improved wide receiver play. Pierre Garçon is their most consistent option, and after that, the receivers have been up and down. In Week 6, Aldrick Robinson had two receptions and led the team with 66 yards. Marquise Goodwin finished with two receptions for 26 yards, and Trent Taylor had two receptions for 11 yards.
C.J. Beathard has taken over at quarterback, and it will be interesting to see if he focuses on Garçon, or if other receivers start to see more opportunities. And either way, will the 49ers improve their depth, or wait until the offseason. I have to think they’ll look for some significant options in the 2018 NFL Draft.
In the meantime, I can’t imagine the market is particularly huge for Bryant. He is certainly talented, but a player coming off a year-long suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy is a serious risk. One failed test or arrest for some kind of drug or alcohol related offense could result in an indefinite suspension. I don’t see a deal happening.