The Pittsburgh Steelers may have added a solid pass-catching tight end in Ladarius Green during free agency this week, but they are reportedly set to lose one of their top-three wide receivers for the entire 2016 NFL season:
— Dejan Kovacevic (@Dejan_Kovacevic) March 12, 2016
Initially reported by Dejan Kovacevic of DK Pittsburgh Sports, the news has since been confirmed by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette‘s Ed Bouchette.
Bryant, 24, was suspended the first four games of the 2015 season for multiple violations of the league’s substance abuse policy pertaining to marijuana use.
In 12 games this past season, the former fourth-round pick recorded 50 receptions for 765 yards and six touchdowns. He was the team’s second-leading receiver behind Antonio Brown and is seen as one of the most-talented young receivers in the NFL.
This is a major blow to a Steelers team that has Super Bowl expectations after what was an injury-plagued 2015 campaign.
If the suspension is indeed confirmed, Bryant joins fellow young receiver Josh Gordon in having to sit out an entire year due to the use of marijuana — a “drug” that is legal in two states in which the National Football League operates.
Even then, Bryant needs to know what’s prohibited under the substance abuse policy, and act accordingly.