Bills should buy for Bryant
By Chris Losey
With the NFL trade deadline only days away, the Buffalo Bills should look at making a move for disgruntled Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant to bolster their depleted receiving corps.
Though we’re only a day removed from the Bills announcing the trade of talented but problematic defensive tackle Marcell Dareus to the Jaguars, which unloaded a gargantuan contract, the moves shouldn’t stop there.
The Bills are second in the division with a 4-2 record, and could have the best shot as they have ever had at making the postseason, due to stellar defensive play and a weak conference. One thing that has prevented them from unloading on opponents is their anemic passing attack.
Enter Bryant, a six-foot-five nightmare for defensive backs, who is unhappy with his limited involvement in the Steelers offense this year. Bryant is primarily a deep threat, and possesses great speed and size.
In only 11 games in 2015, Bryant caught 50 passes for 765 yards and six touchdowns playing alongside All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown.
Bryant isn’t a stranger to suspensions, as he was sidelined for four games in 2015 and for the entire 2016 season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, and hasn’t regained his footing this year.
His hands are not the best, but his unique combination of size and excellent speed cause headaches for undersized defensive backfields.
The Bills rank 29th in the league in passing yards, which can be largely attributed to a below average receiving corps with no deep threat to speak of, and middle of the road quarterback play by Tyrod Taylor. Taylor has lacked a home run threat since the Bills traded the oft-injured Sammy Watkins to the Rams over the summer.
Trading for Bryant would change that, and we’d see the offense open up because of it. Since defenses will have to account for Bryant and the deep pass, the short pass and rushing lanes will open, making the Bills more of a potent offense.
The Bills looked good through the air last week against the porous Buccaneers defense, and were able to take a few shots to off-the-street signee Deonte Thompson, who got cut by the Bears after week five.
However, this could be just a fluke, as Thompson is just a marginal talent. Bringing in Bryant would make this an every week occurrence.
Bryant has alluded to his desire to be traded by Pittsburgh multiple times through social media over the past couple weeks, and it resulted in his benching for tomorrow’s Sunday night matchup with the Lions.
A trade looks inevitable at this point, and the Bills should be the first team to call if they really want to improve the offense and make a push for that ever-elusive postseason appearance.