Cowboys sign Martavis Bryant, ending a 5-year absence for a receiver suspended 3 times

FRISCO, Texas (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys signed receiver Martavis Bryant to their practice squad Wednesday, ending a five-year absence from the NFL for a player who has been suspended three times.

Bryant last played in 2018 with the Raiders before they moved from Oakland to Las Vegas. He was indefinitely suspended over substance-abuse violations late that season.

The 31-year-old was a fourth-round pick by Pittsburgh in 2014 and spent four years with the Steelers, including when he was suspended for the entire 2016 season.

Bryant spent time in the CFL and more recently the XFL before signing with the Cowboys after a workout following his reinstatement by Commissioner Roger Goodell.

“I know I’m 31, but I’m still fast, still big, I still want to play football,” Bryant said. “I haven’t lost anything. I got a lot of doubters out there. It’s more of me proving to myself that I still got it.”

Bryant scored eight touchdowns with Pittsburgh as a rookie, then had his career high with 765 yards receiving and six TDs in 11 games a year later after serving his first suspension, a four-game ban.

After missing all of 2016, Bryant had 603 yards and three touchdowns with the Steelers in 2017 before eight games with the Raiders in 2018.

“I’ve been through a lot over those last years that I haven’t played ball,” Bryant said. “Getting down on myself and wanting to give up on football. But at the end of the day, I had to look myself in the mirror and face my own demons.”

Bryant joins a group led by CeeDee Lamb, who has had three consecutive 100-yard games to reach fifth in the NFL with 824 yards. Brandin Cooks, an offseason trade acquisition, was in the same draft class with Bryant.