Aside from, you know, all of the actually bad things about The Antonio Brown Situation™ for the Pittsburgh Steelers, one of the annoying side effects for the team this offseason is that there isn’t really much else that anybody is going to discuss. Even after it gets resolved one way or another, the offseason will still be discussed in terms of how they move forward with the outcome that was reached.
Pretty much any article that you’re going to see over the next couple of months talking about what each team has to do to ‘get better’ this season, or whatever qualification that they use, is going to be about how they handle the wide receiver and whether or not he remains a part of the team.
Take this article from Gregg Rosenthal recently published on the league’s website, which attempts to identify the key issue for every team as they look to make a run at the Super Bowl in 2019. You already know the topic he brings up as it concerns the Steelers.
Rosenthal’s preference for resolution is that the Steelers find a way to reach a reconciliation with Brown that keeps him in the fold, but should they trade him it can only come at a good value, with the minimum being a first-round draft pick, as the Dallas Cowboys got for the much younger but far less proven Amari Cooper.
“The same Twitter lemmings who insist Brown has no trade value said the same about Amari Cooper, then mocked the Cowboys for giving Oakland a first-round pick for Cooper in a trade that directly led Dallas to win the NFC East and a playoff game”, he wrote.
“Brown is still playing at a Hall of Fame level and has significant value, regardless of the drama that’s sprung up. Any attitude concerns would be lessened in a new environment. With that said, it makes more sense for the Steelers to work out their differences with Brown than it does to trade him elsewhere for pennies on the dollar”.
He starts to lose his wheels after that, however, as the NFL.com lemming suggests that possibility of the team waiting until draft week to deal Brown for the best compensation. Because they owe him a $2.5 million roster bonus near the start of the league year, it’s unlikely that any trade isn’t completed before then, though it’s not impossible. But there was another false assertion:
“The team’s Week 17 game against the Bengals — with Brown out, no single Steeler topped 64 receiving yards — was a reminder of how difficult he’d be to replace”, he said. That performance ought not to be reflective of what this team would look like without Brown, under the circumstances. After all, why not judge from the final two games of the 2017 season that he missed?