On the eve of the NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers traded WR Martavis Bryant to the Oakland Raiders, in return, they received a third round pick in this year’s draft.
Bryant has been requesting a trade for a long time, as he felt he wasn’t able to flourish in Pittsburgh. For whatever reasons, the Steelers had been hesitant to comply, despite taking him out of the game plan for long stretches last season. That type of dynamic between a player and his coaching staff is simply not healthy for anyone involved.
So who got the better end of this deal?
For Pittsburgh, this was a no-brainer. They had to trade him if they weren’t planning on using him. Another season of riding the bench would have led to more complaints and a back and forth jabbing session that would distract the team from its goal of reaching the Super Bowl.
Big Ben is on the back end of his career, and the Steelers know they need to maximize their opportunity to win now. While they likely would have wanted more in exchange for Bryant’s services, they were ultimately able to get great value out of the pick, selecting Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph at No. 76 overall. Rudolph has a chance to develop behind Big Ben. If all goes well, he could become the Steelers’ next franchise quarterback. If that happens, their end of the trade would be considered a steal, rather than just a success.
Meanwhile, the Raiders got a great deal as well. If you told them they could draft a receiver with Bryant’s physical attributes and skillset in the third round, they would jump on that opportunity without hesitation. Bryant is very fast. His 40-time at the combine was 4.34. He actually ran even faster in a hand-time sprint last year.
Martavis Bryant running a 4.27 40 yard dash. pic.twitter.com/OZw1naIS4a
— The Steel Crew (@TheSteelCrew) April 26, 2017
But it’s not just speed that they’re getting. Bryant is also very tall at 6’4, and he will make for a great redzone weapon for Derek Carr now that Michael Crabtree is in Baltimore. The Raiders now have three highly proven receivers on their roster, with Bryant, Amari Cooper, and recently acquired Jordy Nelson. They also signed Doug Martin to work in tandem with Marshawn Lynch. Bryant was the X-factor the team was looking for. Another dangerous weapon that can help get this team to the next level.
Only time will tell which team won this trade. At this point, it could really go either way. As it currently stands, it was a move that made sense for both sides.