As the Dallas Cowboys continue to look for a consistent deep threat at wide receiver, should they considered trading for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Martavis Bryant?
The Dallas Cowboys have one of the most talented wide receiver corps in the NFL. They arguably have the league’s top 50/50 receiver in Dez Bryant. One of the more talented “number twos” in Terrance Williams. A superstar slot receiver in Cole Beasley. And a speedy wide out with size in Brice Butler.
Throw in future Hall of Fame tight end Jason Witten to the mix, and this Cowboy team has plenty of offensive weapons for second-year quarterback Dak Prescott to find on gameday. But the biggest issue hindering this wide receiver group is consistency.
Bryant has been targeted 48 times through five games this season. Unfortunately, he’s only caught 21 of them. Both Williams and Butler have struggled with drops this season, as they have their entire careers. And Beasley’s size limits his overall effectiveness, and always will.
What the Cowboys have needed for several seasons now is a bonafide deep threat. A receiver that can take the top off of opposing defenses and one defensive coordinators have to plan for every single game. Could that player be the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Martavis Bryant?
It was reported by NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport on Sunday night that Bryant has asked the Steelers for a trade. But is a team willing to take the risk?
Bryant is the ultimate boom or bust player, with a 6-foot-4 frame and 4.4 speed. His upside is tremendous. A fourth round selection out of Clemson in 2014, Martavis averaged a ridiculous 21.1 yards per catch as a rookie. He recorded 26 receptions for 549 yards and eight touchdowns that year.
Bryant double his reception total the following season, posting 50 catches for 765 yards and six scores while establishing himself as one of the league’s brightest young receiving stars. And he did so beside the likes of teammate Antonio Brown, who himself was targeted 195 times that year.
But Bryant biggest obstacle is drug use. The 25-year old has failed six drug tests in his first three seasons in the league. The NFL actually levied a year-long ban on him all of last season for his repeated violations of their substance abuse policy. And Bryant used that time to go to rehab and become an assistant high school coach. He previously served a four-game suspension for substance abuse back in 2015.
Reinstated earlier this year, Bryant has recorded 17 receptions for 231 yards and one score so far this season in Pittsburgh. But he’s seen a reduction in snaps due to the play of rookie wide out JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Martavis Bryant has obvious upside. And there are three other things that could make Dallas the right place for him. First, the Cowboys desperately need a deep threat opposite Dez Bryant. Second, Martavis is still under his rookie contract through 2018, making him very affordable.
Finally, Dallas is expected to be awarded the maximum amount of compensatory picks in next year’s draft due to their free agent losses this offseason. So, the Cowboys certainly have the ammunition to take a chance on him.
Whether the Dallas Cowboys are willing to take that risk on a player who is one slip up away from a lifelong ban is the biggest question when it comes to a potential trade for Martavis Bryant. Based on their past issues with players struggling with drug addiction, you can not blame the Cowboys if they simply decided they weren’t interested. That’s despite all the reasons they should be.