Martavis Bryant, Raiders Agree to Contract Amid Suspension Rumors

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Martavis Bryant, right, during the second half of an NFL preseason football game against the Detroit Lions in Oakland, Calif., Friday, Aug. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/John Hefti)
John Hefti/Associated Press

The Oakland Raiders are back in the Martavis Bryant business. 

Oakland announced it had signed Bryant on Wednesday after Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported Tuesday that the two sides were closing in on a one-year contract, adding that Bryant is expected to play in Week 2.

The Raiders released Bryant during their 53-man roster cuts as the NFL reviewed a potential suspension for the 26-year-old wideout.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Bryant could be facing a one-year suspension for another violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy. The NFL previously suspended Bryant four games in 2015 and the entire 2016 season for repeated drug violations. 

"It’s not my first rodeo. I've had my difficulties in my past, but I've come a long way from that. It's all about keeping the right resources around me and continuing to stay on the right path. I'm going to make sure I get that done," Bryant told reporters in April.

Bryant's apparent return comes a day after the Raiders offense looked listless in a 33-13 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. Derek Carr threw three interceptions and did not connect with his receivers much, with tight end Jared Cook and running back Jalen Richard leading the way with nine receptions each. Top wideout Amari Cooper caught just one pass for nine yards.

Bryant has major downfield ability but drew the ire of coach Jon Gruden for his struggles in camp.

"He's got to get out here and play better," Gruden told reporters last month. "He's in a competitive situation. Right now, a lot of the other receivers have had a nice camp. He's just got to learn the offense. He's got to stay out here. He's had some illnesses. He's got to get on the field. He's got to master the offense and become more versatile, and that's the key to making this team better."

Bryant recorded 126 receptions for 1,917 yards and 17 touchdowns during his three seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Raiders previously traded a third-round pick to Pittsburgh this offseason for Bryant.

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