CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora is reporting Antonio Brown has requested a trade from the Pittsburgh Steelers. His tweet sent out minutes ago.
Antonio Brown has requested a trade. Im told it was not a demand but he has asked to be dealt. Very unlikely Rooney would capitulate. Brown has issues with Mike Tomlin and Ben Roethlisberger. Feels like the coach is too aligned with the QB.
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 1, 2019
— CBS Sports Radio (@CBSSportsRadio) January 1, 2019
As La Canfora notes, it’s unlikely to actually happen but the biggest development in this saga. Brown was benched for Sunday’s regular season finale after storming out of practice, skipping meetings, and not being around the team for the rest of the week.
Trading Brown would be extremely difficult to do. If for nothing else, the monster cap hit the Steelers would take on by dealing him. As our Dave Bryan tweeted yesterday.
For yinz asking about the #Steelers trading or cutting AB, it would result in $21.12M in dead money. AB set to count $22.165M in cap space in 2019 so less than $2M saved by getting rid of best WR in NFL.
— Steelers Depot (@Steelersdepot) December 31, 2018
Still, there would be an obvious trade market for the game’s best receiver and future Hall of Famer. Mike Tomlin will hold his final press conference Wednesday afternoon where I’m sure most questions will be centered around Brown and this most recent saga.
Earlier today, Ben Roethlisberger went to bat for Brown, saying the two have remained closed friends and he doesn’t want to see him end up somewhere else.
Despite what felt like a “down” year to some in the national media, Brown still finished 2018 with 104 receptions for nearly 1300 yards and a league-high 15 touchdowns. For his career, he’s hauled in 837 passes, gone over 11,000 yards and is up to 74 touchdowns. If this is his final season in Pittsburgh, he’ll still trail Hines Ward in all three categories.
(UPDATE 2:26 PM)
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is countering the initial report, saying Brown was venting and hasn’t formally asked for a trade.
My understanding of the situation surrounding #Steelers WR Antonio Brown: As he exited the field in frustration on Wednesday, he yelled, "I’m done!" Then wondered why they don’t trade him. More venting in anger than anything. He has not made any actual trade request, officially.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 1, 2019