Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert expresses his dismay on their wide receiver Martavis Bryant, who served with a one-year suspension for substance abuse, but also extends a fatherly advice that the 24-year old player out of Clemson should develop self-discipline to regain back his career.
Colbert told ESPN that the Steelers are “very disappointed” with Bryant and hopes that he will take this time to reflect on his life and make personal decisions that will lead him to get his career back on track.
“He is at a crossroads of his professional life, and he needs to understand significant changes need to occur in his personal life if he wants to regain his career as a Pittsburgh Steelers. We are hopeful that Martavis will take the necessary steps to develop the discipline in his personal life to become a successful player and a good teammate,” Colbert said.
The NFL in a statement related that Bryant has been suspended without pay for a minimum of one year for violating the NFL Policy and Program for a substance of abuse and his suspension begins immediately.
Earlier reports stated that Bryant had plans to appeal the decision but his agent Brian Fettner told USA Today that Bryant is fighting depression and plans to enter rehab Sunday for evaluation.
“We’re all stunned, me included. We clearly miscalculated the issue. His isn’t a party issue. It’s a coping issue and a depression issue, and he’s got to take care of it. This is the biggest cry for help I’ve ever seen, and that hurts. It hurts us to see. He’s 24 years old, and he’s got to get right, whatever it is. If you talk to anybody’s family that has depression, they will be talking about these same things — the [despondence], the withdrawal, the head-in-the-sand despair — just trying to cope,” Fettner added.
Prior to his suspension, Bryant also served a four-game suspension back in Aug. 27, 2015 for violating the league’s substance abuse and during his suspension he spend time in a rehabilitation center in Houston and worked with former NBA coach John Lucas.
Bryant was selected in the 4th round and was taken as the 118th pick by the Steelers during the 2014 NFL Draft. He signed a four-year contract worth $2.659 million with $439,220 guaranteed and a $439,220 signing bonus.
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