Steelers' GM statement on Martavis Bryant

by - Assoc. Editor -
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Former Clemson receiver Martavis Bryant will drop his appeal of his new suspension for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.

His minimum one-year suspension will begin immediately, and he will not get paid his $600,000 salary in 2016.

Pittsburgh Steelers' general manager Kevin Colbert released a statement on Martavis Bryant's future with the team.

"We are very disappointed that Martavis Bryant has put himself in this current situation of being suspended by the league," Colbert said. "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 Steeler. 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."

His agent Brian Fettner told USA Today Sports that the 24-year old Bryant is fighting depression and this is not just a simple partying situation.

"We're all stunned, me included," Fettner said. "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."

Bryant was forced to serve a four-game suspension in 2015 for violating the NFL substance abuse policy. He returned to the Steelers had caught six touchdowns in 11 games.

He had 50 catches for 765 yards and six touchdowns on the season. In two NFL seasons (21 games), he has 76 catches for 1,314 yards and 14 scores.

The Steelers drafted Bryant in the 4th round, (118th overall) in the 2014 NFL Draft after a Clemson career where he had 61 receptions and 13 touchdowns.

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