The Steelers are getting serious about trading Antonio Brown. The star wideout can now be acquired for just one draft pick.
When the Steelers front office first put Antonio Brown on the trade market they wanted to get a first round pick and a talented young player in exchange for their talented wideout. Now the Pittsburgh front office has been forced to get more realistic about what they’ll receive for Brown.
ESPN is reporting that the Steelers now are only asking for a single first-round pick to part with the Pro Bowl wideout. Three teams have emerged as the most interested suitors. There’s no guarantee a surprise team won’t jump into the mix, but right now the Raiders, Titans and Redskins appear to be leading the pack.
No team has offered a first round pick as of yet, but that could change as April’s draft nears. Brown may be trouble off the field, but he’s still one of the most productive pass catchers in the NFL. Even in the midst of last year’s dramatic season in Pittsburgh, Brown still managed to catch 104 passes for 1,297 yards and 15 touchdowns. There aren’t many teams in the league who wouldn’t sign up for that level of production.
There is considerable downside to acquiring Brown as well. He’s still in his prime at 30 years of age, but he’s also being paid like a superstar. He’ll count over $22 million against the cap next season which is a big number for any team to swallow. If his production drops even a little bit, he’s going to become overpaid very quickly.
Teams comfortable with the financial obligations will need to think long and hard about bringing such a big personality into their locker room. Brown didn’t alienate the entire Steelers locker room, but his public feud with Ben Roethlisberger wasn’t a good look for either player. At the very least, teams interested in acquiring Brown will need to make sure they have a quarterback who can keep the talented wideout satisfied.
There’s no guarantee the Steelers will get the first-round pick they want for Brown, but the fact that they’ve already lowered their asking price sends a clear signal to teams around the league that a transaction could occur soon. Interested GMs need to reach out to Pittsburgh quickly if they want to join the fray for Brown’s services.