Martavis Bryant Doesn’t Have To Be A One-Year Rental For Raiders

Jon Gruden was aggressive this offseason in his efforts to revamp a Raiders wide receiver group that was wildly inconsistent a year ago.

One of the moves he made that earned mixed reviews was the trade for Martavis Bryant, who cost the Raiders a third round pick in the 2018 draft and came from Pittsburgh with a contract set to expire after this season.

Considering the Raiders are about a year away from having to address a long-term deal with Amari Cooper, will Gruden be severely limited in what he can offer Bryant after the season?

Maybe not, actually.

First of all, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that Cooper and Bryant are racing toward the same money from the Raiders.

Could Bryant end up getting the long-term deal earmarked for Cooper?

Bryant is only 26 years old and Cooper turns 24 in a week. If Bryant has a big year in 2018 (and Cooper somehow doesn’t), is it possible the Raiders would decide to cut bait with Cooper in two years and pay Bryant after the season?

The other thought (and more likely scenario) is that the Raiders could simply sign Bryant to a two or three year deal after the season and move forward with the same trio of receivers in 2019 (Cooper is under contract through 2019).

Because of his suspension history, Bryant won’t see anywhere near the three-year, $48 million Sammy Watkins received from the Chiefs in March. Teams won’t be willing to risk losing Bryant to additional suspensions should he happen to have a relapse.

For what it’s worth, if Gruden needs to clear cap room next year for Bryant, he’s going to have options.

The Raiders salary cap in 2019 will take a hit from Khalil Mack’s new deal (assuming it happens), but $6-8 million can be freed up relatively easily. Donald Penn’s cap number alone is $10.35 million next year (not happening) and Seth Roberts is currently on the 2019 books with a $4.65 million cap number (really not happening).

Another salary to watch will be Bruce Irvin’s. As of now, his cap number in 2019 is set to be at $9.25 million.

So if Gruden decides he wants to keep Bryant beyond this year, it won’t be that difficult to pull off – even with Cooper’s big payday looming.

As for this season, look for Bryant to have a significant role in Gruden’s offense. Gruden likes to win games, but he also likes to win trades. By resurrecting Bryant’s career in Oakland, he has an opportunity to do both.

twitter: @raidersbeat


3 thoughts on “Martavis Bryant Doesn’t Have To Be A One-Year Rental For Raiders

  1. If Bryant has a big year and stays out of trouble I can see him getting something in the range of $35-$40 million over 3 years, leaving him the chance for one more big payday while still in his prime. Add up Penn and Seth “Droperts” and that clears $15 million. Lynch’s base of $4.5 million also comes off the books, now you’re nearly at $20 million. As for Irvine they could try something similar to Lynch in lowering his salary while making it all guaranteed, or just cut him and get close to $30 million. Convert some of Jackson’s salary into a bonus like they did Hudson and you’re near $35 million. A little cap maneuvering and it is certainly within the realm of possibility.

    1. If Irvin has a decent season there is no way he gets cut. 9 mil for a productive edge rusher is a bargain and he will not be sacrificed for a number three receiver. Plenty of other ways to keep Bryant if he works out (and I think he will). Penn’s contract will just about cover him.

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