We are learning more and more by the day about the Steelers intentions when it comes to trading star receiver Antonio Brown. Based on the last week, we know that Pittsburgh GM Kevin Colbert has been in touch with three NFL teams so far regarding Brown, would like to trade Brown to an NFC team rather than an AFC team, and that he is in no particular rush to trade away arguably the best receiver in the league.
Make no mistake regarding the NFC preference. This is not an “NFC only” deal. If a team like, say, the Buffalo Bills put together the best package for Brown then Colbert will trade him there. There are only a handful of teams that are seemingly off-limits for Colbert, including the Patriots, Browns, Ravens and Bengals. That said Sports Illustrated’s Andy Benoit – who is tied in the inner workings of the NFL – had this to say about Brown’s next team this week.
“If Brown is willing to take a new contract, that would make a team’s immediate cap space less of an issue, as almost every deal can have a cap-friendly structure,” Benoit wrote. “With this mindset, all 31 teams are theoretically in play for Brown. But any team that would want to do a new deal will have to go through Pittsburgh’s front office in order to talk with Brown and Drew Rosenhaus.”
Benoit continues by saying that Brown fits stylistically into many teams including the Eagles and Cowboys because of their two and three receiver route combinations, and the Bills and Seahawks because of the fact that they have improvisational quarterbacks like Brown had in Pittsburgh with Ben Roethlisberger.
The market for Brown will grow over the next few weeks, particularly when teams recognize that the wide receiver crop in this year’s draft is not too deep. It’s expected that the team acquiring Brown will have to give up at least a second round draft pick in this year’s draft when that time comes.
The Eagles are right in that sweet spot with the 53rd and 57th picks in this year’s draft while the Cowboys own the 58th pick. The Seahawks do now own a second round pick so they may have to overpay if they truly want Brown, and the Bills have the best pick of this lot with the 40th overall pick.