Antonio Brown reportedly requested a trade from the Steelers. So, what can Pittsburgh reasonably expect to receive in exchange for the All-Pro wide receiver?
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Tuesday the Steelers have been prepared for trade scenarios and believe they can get a high draft pick for Brown. One high-ranking AFC executive told Schefter the Steelers could ask for a first-round pick in trade talks.
Brown, a four-time First-Team All-Pro and seven-time Pro Bowl selection, continues to perform at a high level. He’s coming off a 2018 season in which he totaled 104 catches for 1,297 yards with an NFL-high 15 receiving touchdowns. The Steelers clearly need to part ways with the 30-year-old, though, especially with him posting farewell to the organization and its fans Tuesday on social media.
All told, a trade won’t be easy to execute. Not only are there character concerns given how things currently are playing out in Pittsburgh — perhaps impacting Brown’s stock on the trade block — but the Steelers also need to eat a significant chunk of dough if they pull the trigger on a deal.
The San Francisco 49ers are among the teams that have been linked to Brown, who has been the subject of trade rumors since missing Pittsburgh’s season finale after a bizarre week in which he reportedly clashed with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. It wouldn’t be surprising to see other teams join the mix, too, based on Browns’ talent.
The Steelers have another Pro Bowl receiver in JuJu Smith-Schuster, which definitely softens the blow of trading an elite player like Brown. The bigger question might be whether Brown will meet expectations upon joining a new team, as he’s been with Pittsburgh for his entire nine-year NFL career.
According to Schefter, a source close to Brown believes the receiver is tired of playing the scapegoat for the Steelers’ problems and wants to show he can thrive in another offense. So, whichever team trades for Brown theoretically will be getting a player with a chip on his shoulder.
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