Once upon a time, there was a wide receiver who was very talented physically but had some issues of the field. He liked to smoke marijuana in his free time. An NFL team decided to take a chance on him and he was able to put up big numbers on the field as a rookie. However, he was suspended for a few games before his second year in the league. The troubled wide receiver promised to clean up his act and returned to dominating on the field after returning for suspension. However, he broke his promise to stay clean and sober. As a result, the talented wide receiver is serving a season-long suspension.
I’m not talking about Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon.
I’m talking about Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant. Bryant is suspended for the 2016 NFL regular season for missing drug tests.
WHY????!!! He just completely ruined my Madden 17 team. Do you know how long I have wanted to have a tall receiver that I can throw deep to and know he is going to out-jump everyone for the ball? Now I need a new plan. My Madden woes aside, this is a major problem. When I started this website, I promised to call a spade a spade. I am on record for calling Josh Gordon a weed head who needed to get his issues fixed. I called Johnny Manziel an alcoholic and said he needed help. So what do I call a player who went down the same road that Josh Gordon went down?
Regardless of your feelings for marijuana, there are rules and laws that must be obeyed. Only Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Alaska, and Washington D.C. have legalized recreational marijuana. Marijuana is still prohibited per federal law and in most states. Most importantly, marijuana is prohibited in the NFL with clear consequences spelled out. In order for a player to be suspended for an entire season for marijuana, he would have had to fail at least FIVE drug tests. FIVE!
And weed isn’t addictive?
NFL teams are offering players hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars to play football for their team. In exchange for getting paid millions of dollars, they ask that the players don’t get in trouble off the field and they stay clean in regards to illegal substances. They don’t have to like the rules, but they do have to follow them. If they have a problem and think drugs are more important than football, they won’t play anymore.
While Josh Gordon and Martavis Bryant are going down the same road, the impact to their respective franchises is completely different. Josh Gordon was the best playmaker on a horrible roster and the Browns picked him in the second round of the 2012 supplemental draft, a relatively large investment. The Steelers drafted Bryant in the fourth round of the 2014 and while the loss still hurts, the Steelers are still loaded on offense.
For his own well-being, I pray that Martavis Bryant gets help to resolve whatever issues he has. But only Bryant can decide which path he is going to take.