The Pittsburgh Steelers and Antonio Brown are on the fast track to a permanent divorce, and this has become general knowledge across the NFL landscape. This doesn’t mean questions still don’t exist within this situation. Primarily, what the Steelers get in return, and where Brown lands in 2019 are on the forefront of the Brown discussion.
Recently, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN sourced some of the trade parameters the Steelers have in mind in the early stages of the process:
The team would prefer to send Brown to an NFC team for competitive reasons, a source told ESPN. The New England Patriots and AFC North rivals are considered no-trade zones, and the Steelers would rather see Brown affect wins and losses in another conference, if possible.
Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert expanded on these thoughts during a media session last week.
“I mean, when you’re trading away a player like this who could determine your own record and your own Super Bowl potential, of course you want to not trade him to teams that might be a factor,” Colbert said. “But if those teams step up and say, ‘Look, we’ll give you the best picks or the best players,’ then we have to make that judgment. OK, yeah, they’re a competitor, but what they’re giving us far exceeds what these other folks are willing to do. So will we be selective? It depends on what the compensation is.”
This is not some huge revelation to fans who look at the situation logically. With the Steelers in control of Brown’s future, it should shock absolutely no one New England and the other AFC North homes would be considered ‘no-trade’ zones. But the destination is only half of the equation. The next aspect is what will the Steelers get in return for Brown?
According to Fowler, his sources say the Steelers are searching for a first round draft pick in return for Brown, but others are skeptical this could actually happen. Regardless, the Steelers realize if they don’t get what they feel is quality compensation for Brown, they don’t have to trade him at all.
As the new league year approaches, and the NFL Scouting Combine kicks off this week, look for more sourced reports and rumors to be released regarding this situation. Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and updates on this situation and other surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers this offseason.