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Raiders release Martavis Bryant amid looming suspension

The Oakland Raiders have released wide receiver Martavis Bryant on Saturday as he faces yet another suspension from the league, Dan Graziano of ESPN reports.

Bryant was informed recently that he is facing another ban, which was reported to be on the way back in June. Bryant’s upcoming ban would be his third in four seasons. He missed the entire 2016 season due to suspension for violation of the league’s substance abuse policy.

The Raiders acquired Bryant from the Pittsburgh Steelers for a third-round pick during the draft. However, his time with the Raiders immediately got off to a rough start. He found it hard picking up Jon Gruden’s playbook and was publicly criticized by the head coach for his poor play during training camp.

Bryant, who was expected to provide a big-play threat to the Raiders’ offense this season, is the second significant departure from the team’s receiving corps in recent weeks. Oakland previously traded away Ryan Switzer to Bryant’s old team, the Steelers.

With Bryant gone, the Raiders now have just six wide receivers on the roster: Amari Cooper, Jordy Nelson, Seth Roberts, Dwayne Harris, Johnny Holton, and Keon Hatcher. Roberts looks likely to take over for Bryant as the clear third option behind starters Cooper and Nelson.

As for Bryant, it remains to be seen what the severity of his punishment will be. But with the troublesome track record of infractions he’s already garnered during his relatively short career, he could potentially face another lengthy ban from the league. If that is indeed the case, then Bryant’s NFL career could be in serious jeopardy.