If Antonio Brown has any hope of a trade away from the Pittsburgh Steelers this offseason, his only real chance of a deal being struck is heavily dependent on the value the front office can get in return. Just as it was when it came to trying to trade Le’Veon Bell during the regular season, should Pittsburgh be unable to find anyone willing to give them what they feel he is worth via trade, the Steelers could just as easily convince themselves to keep him.
Brown needs multiple teams to want him if he is to escape Pittsburgh, enough franchises chasing him to push the return to a level the Steelers are comfortable. The more NFC teams that are interested, the better still for AB. But if a recent note in a column by Peter King of NBC Sports is to be believed, Brown’s recent actions might actually be damaging his chances of the trade he so desperately wants.
“I think the more Antonio Brown tweets, the more he scares off potential suitors. (That’s not just something I think. In the case of one team, it’s something I know.)”
Although the remark is somewhat unsubstantiated, it is not difficult to imagine that there are some franchises who have already dismissed the notion of trading for Brown. Few teams are likely to have warmed to the prospect of having internal disputes aired on social media and no head coach would have condoned Brown’s comments about Mike Tomlin over the weekend.
For all the teams like the Dallas Cowboys and Cleveland Browns who often appear to embrace controversial players and make questionable personnel moves, there are more than twice that many who try to avoid negative press attention as much as possible. The NFL is dominated by risk-averse owners and Brown has shown many of the characteristics certain teams try to avoid in recent months.
That being said, if there is a demand in the league for players like Kareem Hunt with all the baggage he brings, there should be more than enough clubs willing to take on the challenge of AB. The Steelers can only hope that he does not manage to alienate many more potential trade partners in the coming weeks.