The Pittsburgh Steelers have one issue this offseason that overshadows all others: what to do with Antonio Brown? For the moment, it doesn’t seem as though there is much assurance about what is going to happen next. There is no firsthand intelligence available, but that hasn’t stopped everybody from having and sharing their opinion about how things will unfold.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is generally regarded as the paper of record when it comes to Steelers reporting, however, so I thought it was interesting that both Ed Bouchette and Gerry Dulac in the past two days were asked whether or not they believed Brown would be a part of the team, and both of them said no.
From Tuesday, Bouchette held a chat for the newspaper’s website in which he was asked if he would play with the Steelers in 2019, based on his history of covering the team and how they have handled issues.
“I believe he will not be with the Steelers”, he said, “although that’s not 100 percent belief. He’ll play somewhere else—provided something doesn’t anger him [so] that he skips practices”.
Dulac held his own chat yesterday in which he was also asked whether or not it was his belief that Brown would play for the team in 2019. “No”, was his answer.
It’s hard to gauge when they don’t give much further elaboration how much they are making their statement based on what they think rather than how they feel, though I gather that both veteran reporters would likely hold the belief that trading him is in the team’s best interests.
Still, I do think it’s significant when both of a major paper’s major reporters are aligned on the issue, even if not with supreme confidence. Personally, I lean toward the belief that he likely will remain with the Steelers, but nobody—not Brown, not the front office, not any reporter—knows right now how the situation will play out over the next couple of months.
While the team could field trade offers or make calls in advance of the start of the new league year, no trade can be submitted to the league to be made official before then, and that is in March. We saw Alex Smith and others being traded ‘in principle’ before March. I do believe at least one ‘in principle’ trade did fall through.