With Antonio Brown now formally asking for a trade, these five teams should be ready to make an offer to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
After his deactivation in Week 17, and subsequent rumors of new drama surrounding him, Antonio Brown and the Pittsburgh Steelers appear headed for a parting of ways. Now that it’s the offseason trade rumors are set to surface in a significant way. On Tuesday Brown tweeted a goodbye to Pittsburgh, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter added Brown has formally asked for a trade.
There’s no denying Brown’s talent, but he fits the description of a diva wide receiver. Any team making a trade for him has to be ready to embrace the latter part of the equation, even with an incredibly palatable contract over the next three seasons relative to Brown’s 100-catch and 1,200-yard floor over the last six seasons.
The Steelers have significant financial implications attached to trading Brown, with a dead cap hits north of $21 million or $23.6 million depending on when they move him. But in this case, an openly unhappy Brown stands to bring a new level of issues and removing him from the equation can be considered addition by subtraction.
The Steelers should not struggle to move Brown and get a good return, as teams see him as key piece to take a proverbial next step. On that note, these five teams should have the most interest in making a deal for Brown.
5. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts are an easy landing spot to pinpoint for Brown, despite opinions a player with his inherent baggage will not appeal to general manager Chris Ballard. But the team needs to find an upgrade to go with T.Y. Hilton, and a lack of real comment from Ballard could be a sign he doesn’t want to show his cards on a looming trade.
With over $107 million in cap space right now, the Colts can add literally anyone they want to via free agency (or a trade). Indianapolis being a team on the rise with a capable, healthy quarterback in place, should also appeal to Brown, as much as he can dictate where he goes as the Steelers ultimately hold the cards and weigh trade offers.
Hilton and Brown would instantly become one of the top wide receiver duos in the NFL. Even if Ballard has some hesitation to add a personality like Brown to the mix, the opportunity to make a deal is there.