There’s clearly something not clicking between receiver Antonio Bryant and the brain trust of the Buccaneers, if you hearken back to the comments Bryant made on 7 Nov 09, it would seem Bryant is still fuming over the lack of not being offered a long term contract. Simply stated Bryant has shut it down based on the team’s record and his displeasure of his current contract status. It boils down to Bryant not wanting to jeopardize his longevity and future just to play in some meaningless games this season without the security of a long term contract.
“I don’t have no contract,” Bryant told Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune in regards to his status beyond this season. “It don’t do me no good to play for a game or two and then be right back and have to sit down again.”
Then you have Bryant proclaiming he’s doing all, that he’s supposed to do, but stated it’s not his decision.
“We’re just doing all the little things because I never really sat out and waited,” Bryant told PewterReport.com. “I’ve always kind of been mobile and playing around. In the preseason obviously I was fresh off the surgery, so obviously that is what that is. I’ve just always been mobile. I never really sat down and gave it any time to rest and heal. That’s kind of what we decided to do.”
So if he is healthy enough to play – with a rookie quarterback starting under center, then why would the team not be willing to allow Bryant on the field and give Freeman another proven target to throw to? It seems more like Bryant is the one not wanting to risk further injury and is not going to play unless he is 100%.
But this goes back to Bryant’s displeasure over not being rewarded this off-season with a long term contract. If you have been reading the tealeaves, you have to ask why Bryant elected not to have surgery until after training camp started, with no sign of a long term deal on the table it would appear Bryant was disgruntled and waited to have surgery to spite the team for not rewarding him for one stellar season.
Bryant blamed the plane trip back from London for his knee flaring up, saying his quad muscle shrunk and he’s battled knee pain since, now you have a contradiction, on Bryant’s part from earlier comments he made in regards to his injured knee.
“It hasn’t gotten worse,” said Bryant. “I’m still a lot faster than some of these guys on this team, but it is what it is.”
So, is it the team who’s holding Bryant out or is it Bryant himself no willing to play?