Two days before the draft, the NFL finally got around to announcing the reinstatement of Martavis Bryant.
The Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver had been suspended the past year for failing the league's substance abuse police. But after spending much of the year training and coaching kids in Nevada, Bryant was welcomed back Tuesday by the Steelers. General Manager Kevin Colbert released the following statement:
"Martavis Bryant has followed the protocol and has been conditionally reinstated by the National Football League. We appreciate that he has taken the necessary steps in an effort to get his personal life in order. We also understand this is just the beginning as he works to return to the team and meet all of the conditions of his reinstatement.
"We look forward to working with Martavis to ensure that he is mentally and physically prepared to contribute to our efforts on the field, while also maintaining the proper balance to keep his life in order off the field."
Bryant, 25 and with two years remaining on his contract, has started only eight regular-season games for the Steelers, and played in only 21, but has 76 receptions for 1,314 yards (17.3 avg.) and 14 touchdowns.
In his two regular seasons, the Steelers were 15-6 and averaged 29.3 points per game with Bryant.
Without him, they were 16-11 and averaged 23.8 points per game.
Bryant came out of Clemson as a 6-3 3/4, 211-pounder who ran a 4.42 40 with 16 bench reps and a vertical jump of 39 inches. But he spent the winter training in Henderson, Nevada, and told Sports Illustrated in January that he expects to become an even better athlete.
"Before, I wouldn't work out at all. I would just show up on Sunday and play," Bryant said. "But now I'm working out harder than I ever have. I'm going to be bigger than I ever was. It's going to be a great time when I come back."
The Steelers are still expected to add a wide receiver in this weekend's draft, but the return of Bryant no doubt lessens the urgency at the position.