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Who is Vegas Vipers’ WR Martavis Bryant?

We introduce you to Vipers WR Martavis Bryant.

Martavis Bryant #12 of the Oakland Raiders runs after a catch against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium on November 1, 2018 in Santa Clara, California. Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

The benefit of the XFL is that they are another outlet for talented players that had a falling out with the NFL to get another shot. Martavis Bryant of the Vegas Vipers is one of those guys. A talented wide receiver, he was only in the league for five years after struggling to comply with the league’s drug policy on marijuana. We will finally see Bryant back on an American football field when he takes on the Arlington Renegades to begin the XFL season.

College experience

Bryant played for three years at Clemson University. While he was there, he was battling Sammy Watkins, DeAndre Hopkins and Jaron Brown, among others, for targets. His freshman season ended with only nine receptions for 220 receiving yards and two scores. He didn’t fair much better in 2012 with 10 receptions, 305 yards and four touchdowns. Finally, in his junior year, we saw him take a step forward with 42 catches for 828 yards and seven touchdowns. He chose to forego his senior year and declared for the draft.

NFL experience

Bryant was drafted in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He tallied 76 receptions for 1,314 yards and 14 touchdowns in his first two seasons. He was suspended for the entirety of the 2016 season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Bryant was reinstated in 2017 and played in 15 games with 50 receptions for 603 yards and three scores. He was then traded to the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders, who released him and then signed him to a one-year deal. Bryant was placed on injured reserve in December of 2018 but then suspended indefinitely for violating the terms of his conditional reinstatement. He applied for reinstatement in 2019, but it wasn't ever approved.

The Toronto Argonauts signed Bryant in the Canadian Football League in January 2021. He never reported to training camp and was placed on the suspended list, and was released that December. Bryant was then signed by the Edmonton Elks in February 2022 but was released prior to training camp. This XFL opportunity could likely be his final shot at playing professional football, so we will see what the 31-year-old does with it.