PITTSBURGH — Receiver Martavis Bryant appeared to reinforce his trade request on social media late Sunday, calling out rookie JuJu Smith-Schusterand urging the Pittsburgh Steelers to “give me what I want.”
What he wants is clear.
“He wants out,” a source close to Bryant said. “Point blank.”
Bryant was tagged on a comment from an Instagram post by @fantasyfootballcounselor pointing out how Bryant didn’t get the ball on a play intended for Antonio Brown during the Steelers’ 29-14 win over Cincinnati.
Bryant responded in a since-deleted comment that was screengrabbed and shared all over social media.
“JuJu is no where near better than me, fool,” Bryant commented. “All they need to do is give me what I want and y’all can have JuJu and whoever else.”
Bryant then clarified those remarks with a new comment that tagged Smith-Schuster, the rookie who caught a 31-yard touchdown Sunday and has cut into Bryant’s playing time.
“JuJu is the future and got great talent and is going to be one of the best to play this game,” Bryant commented. “I want him to get his. I just want mines, period, point-blank. Ain’t nobody did nothing to get me back. I worked my ass off to get myself back with no help and little support, period. In due time the process will show.”
The NFL Network reported Bryant had requested a trade. ESPN confirmed the report, citing Bryant’s disenchantment with his role in the offense.
Bryant and the Steelers cooled those reports during the week, with Bryant saying publicly he did not request a trade. Coach Mike Tomlin and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said Bryant was happy.
Bryant, who was suspended for the 2016 season for violations of the league’s substance abuse policy, entered the game with 17 catches for 231 yards and a touchdown.
He was heavily involved in practices this week, but Sunday he caught one pass for 3 yards on two targets.