Antonio Brown’s escape from Pittsburgh probably won’t take much longer.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are expected to trade the All-Pro wide receiver next month prior to the 2019 NFL Draft, The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin reported Saturday, citing NFL sources. Brown is available for trade, following his high-profile falling out with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger near the end of last season and subsequent public breakup with the organization.
The Steelers probably will look to trade Brown between the March 17 start of the new NFL year and the NFL Draft, which will take place between April 25 and 27.
“This would require the Steelers to pay Brown a $2.5 million bonus on March 17, but perhaps it can be viewed as a down payment on a first- or second-round draft pick,” Volin writes.
NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported Monday the Broncos could even move him before March 17.
The San Francisco 49ers initially appeared to be Brown’s most likely trade destination, but the Oakland Raiders, Washington Redskins and Tennessee Titans reportedly now are also considered front-runners in the race for his services.
Pittsburgh is keen to act quickly in order to avoid a situation similar to that of running back Le’Veon Bell, who sat out the entire 2018 season after declining to sign the team’s franchise tender, according to Volin’s sources. Bell now is a free agent and is expected to secure his big payday this offseason.