The Pittsburgh Steelers are out of Latrobe and back at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, also referred to as the South Side Facility. We are already into the regular season, where everything is magnified and, you know, actually counts. The team is working through the highs and lows and dramas that go through a typical Steelers season.
How are the rookies performing? What about the players that the team signed in free agency? Who is missing time with injuries, and when are they going to be back? What are the coaches saying about what they are going to do this season that might be different from how it was a year ago?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: How many teams will actually be in the market for Antonio Brown?
No matter how crazy his behavior gets—well, maybe not to that extreme, but within reason—I find it impossible to imagine that there will not be a market for the services of Antonio Brown, the stellar wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers who appears very much to want to be a former member of the team.
Is it so much so that his conduct is putting off too many teams? While it only takes two teams to get into a bidding war, the fewer the options there are, the less likely the Steelers will be able to maximize their return for him. But so long as he offers no sign of a desire for reconciliation, the simple fact of the matter is that he has to go, no matter how imbalanced the trade may be.
We have already seen the beat writers of a number of teams weigh in on what they think their teams both will likely do, and should do, such as the New York Jets, their people warning that the organization ought to stay away from the Steelers’ drama. No matter how desperately they need wide receiver help, with a second-year franchise quarterback in Sam Darnold.
Other teams who many might expect to be in the running to place a bid, such as the San Francisco 49ers or the Indianapolis Colts, have head coaches or general managers who have made public comments that indicate they might also feel the same way.
But if Josh Gordon and Martavis Bryant could be traded, Brown certainly can as well, even if his contract is significantly larger than theirs. Yet, if new contract demands are also part of the equation, that could cut out several additional teams who might otherwise seek to acquire his services.
It’s all getting very tiresome and I am more than ready to see the wheels get put in motion. The Baltimore Ravens have already agreed in principle to trade Joe Flacco, for example. But the Steelers are likely to wait until the last minute as they hold out hope for a change of heart.