When Martavis Bryant was suspended by the league for repeated violations off the NFL’s policy on substance abuse, it was familiar territory for Raiders fans. They watched as Aldon Smith was suspended indefinitely by the league and never return. Bryant’s suspensions appeared to be a similar case which would mean we don’t even hear from him until at least a year from the date he was suspended. But it’s sounding like that may not be the case according to ESPN’s Tom Pelissero.
Gordon and Bryant are suspended, not banished (which would be one year minimum). So, it’s possible they could be back by training camp. Of course, this can’t be said enough: everything depends on getting better and following their treatment plans. That’s where the focus is now.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) February 7, 2019
Pelissero notes that the NFLPA could start their efforts to get Bryant as well as fellow suspended receiver Josh Gordon reinstated as early as May, which, should all go well, could put their return before training camp.
As we all found out with Aldon Smith, any slip up and Roger Goodell need not even make an announcement he is keeping the player suspended. The only announcement would come if/when the player is reinstated.
It’s important to note that even if Bryant is reinstated before camp, it wouldn’t be as a Raiders player. He had a game-by-game, non-guaranteed contract with the team last season. He would return from suspension a free agent, able to sign anywhere and the Raiders would have to re-sign him if they chose to do so. With as much of a headache (so to speak) as Bryant was for Gruden before along with how little he contributed on the field, there is no guarantee he would be brought back into the fold.
Either way, I hope he is able to find his way back into the league and onto a team before camp next year so he can get his career back on track.