The Pittsburgh Steelers traded wide receiver Martavis Bryant to the Oakland Raiders on Thursday night for a third-round draft pick.
The talented but enigmatic Bryant had asked to be traded out of Pittsburgh in September, and Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said Thursday that Oakland had been “on this for a while” when asked about the deal.
“He’s ideal in what you’re looking for in a receiver,” McKenzie said. “He can play big, he plays fast, and he makes plays. And we think he can be a dynamic receiver for Derek [Carr].”
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said teams called Pittsburgh during the offseason but weren’t offering enough to warrant a trade for a player of Bryant’s caliber.
“When it got to the third round, we felt it was something very interesting to us,” Colbert said. “We wish Martavis nothing but the best.”
Bryant wanted out of Pittsburgh and believed there was a chance he would get dealt sometime this offseason. He has been training in Las Vegas and hadn’t reported to the team’s voluntary workout program.
He was the perfect deep threat for the Steelers’ offense but fell out of favor last season when he requested a trade and publicly questioned the ability of teammate JuJu Smith-Schuster, who now becomes the team’s clear-cut No. 2 receiver behind Antonio Brown.
“It’s the first adversity we’ve faced in the playoffs, real adversity,” DeBoer said. “It’s on us to respond now. … We’ve got a lot of character, a lot of pride in there. This series is a long way from over.”
Pretty optimistic words for a coach facing a Vegas team that is 5-0 in the playoffs, 32-10-2 at home this season, and has the hottest goalie on the planet. Marc-Andre Fleury goes into Saturday night’s game with back-to-back shutouts and an eye-popping .982 save percentage in the playoffs.
The Golden Knights scored four goals in the first 12 minutes Thursday night, matching the total number of goals that San Jose and goalie Martin Jones allowed in the entire series against Anaheim.
Vegas had seven different goal scorers and 11 players who ended up on the scoresheet, led by center Jonathan Marchessault (one goal, two assists). William Karlsson and Reilly Smith each chipped in with three assists.