It appears that Antonio Brown’s nine-year tenure in Pittsburgh will come to an end within the next 48 hours as the Steelers look to trade the embattled receiver.
With the 2019 league year starting next week, the Steelers are moving quickly to get the Brown situation resolved and a trade is expected by Friday.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the three teams that had shown the most interest in Brown as of last week were the Oakland Raiders, Washington Redskins and Tennessee Titans.
The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted Wednesday that three more teams have jumped in the mix.
The Antonio Brown sweepstakes are heating up: Sources say the #Steelers have begun telling teams that this is moving quickly and to give their best offers ASAP. This could wrap up soon. 3 new teams have jumped in the last 48 hours. Meanwhile, #Jets, #AZCardinals are out.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 6, 2019
That means Pittsburgh has spoken to at least half a dozen teams over the last week about the star wide receiver.
It’s unclear which teams are pursuing Brown, but Rapoport said the New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals aren’t among them.
Schefter said the original compensation that the Steelers were seeking was a first-round pick plus other compensation.
However, over the past few days, the asking price for Brown’s services has been reduced to simply the first-round pick.
Part of the reason for that compensation reduction could be related to Brown’s demands for a new contract. He is due $36.43 million over the next three years, but none of that is guaranteed money.
Brown also gave an interview last week in which he declared that any team that wants him will have to “play by my rules.”
“I don’t even have to play football if I don’t want, bro,” he told ESPN’s Jeff Darlington. “I don’t even need the game. You know what I’m saying? I don’t need to prove nothing to anyone. If they wanna play, they gonna play by my rules.”
Last week at the NFL scouting combine, Steelers GM Kevin Colbert said the team won’t just trade Brown to get rid of him.
— Kevin Boilard (@247KevinBoilard) February 27, 2019
“We are looking into the possibility of trading him.” Colbert said. “What we’ve also acknowledged is we will only make a trade if it benefits the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“He knows that. His representation knows that. It’s been clearly explained and we’re willing to take a look. If there’s something that can be done to benefit both sides, great. If not, then we’ll deal with that when we get to it.”
Meanwhile, Brown isn’t sweating a pending trade and poked fun at himself and his new facial hair on Instagram.
View this post on Instagram
Any potential trade of Brown can’t be completed until March 13, when the 2019 league year officially begins.
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