Updated: Jul 11, 2021
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
It was announced in January that former Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant signed with the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL, but he'll also be playing for another team in a different league this year as well.
It was announced yesterday that Bryant signed with the Massachusetts Pirates of the Indoor Football League.
"I’m excited to get into pads again and grateful to the Mass. Pirates for giving me this opportunity, and allowing me to come in and represent their organization in preparation of the CFL season,” Bryant said. “I look forward to contributing any way I can. Big things are in store for the Pirates this year! I know a few of the players on the roster and am looking forward to stepping on the field with them.”
Bryant, 29, has not played in the NFL since 2018 because of an indefinite suspension for multiple drug policy violations.
Bryant was drafted by the Steelers out of Clemson in the fourth round in the 2014 NFL Draft and made an instant impact in his rookie season with 26 receptions for 549 yards (21.1 average) and eight touchdowns. His 21.1 yards per reception that year led the NFL and his six receiving touchdowns in his first four games was an NFL record at the time.
Bryant was highly gifted and was often productive whenever he was on the field, however, non-football-related issues ended up plaguing his career.
Bryant served a four-game suspension in 2015 for violating the league's substance-abuse policy and was suspended for the entire 2016 season for the same violation. His productivity went down in 2017 and the Steelers traded Bryant to the Raiders for a third-round pick during the 2018 NFL Draft.
Bryant had 19 receptions for 266 yards and no touchdowns in eight games with the Raiders in 2018. Bryant played with the Raiders despite facing a possible year-long suspension by the NFL for a violation of the league's drug policy during the offseason. On Dec. 5, 2018, he was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury. On Dec. 14, 2018, the NFL suspended Bryant indefinitely for violating the terms of his conditional reinstatement. Bryant applied for reinstatement in 2019 and has yet to be reinstated.
Bryant had 126 receptions for 1,917 yards (15.2 average) and 17 touchdowns (along with one rushing touchdown) in 36 regular-season games with the Steelers. Bryant also had 21 receptions for 322 yards (15.3 average) and three touchdowns in four playoff games with Pittsburgh.
The CFL plans to return in 2021 after canceling its 2020 season because of the coronavirus pandemic. There have also been talks of the CFL merging with the XFL due to financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic.