Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown has informed the team that he wants to be traded and while his wish might ultimately be granted just after the start of the new league year in March, him apparently also wanting a new contract from the team he continues his career with might make it a bit tougher to deal him.
Judging by a Tuesday afternoon report from Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Brown apparently has now indicated that he also wants a new contract from whichever team he lands with this offseason if indeed dealt by the Steelers. If that’s true, that might limit the teams willing to trade for Brown by a few more. As Dulac points out, part of Brown’s trade appeal is his remaining cap-friendly contract, which currently runs through the 2021 season. Those three years total up to be $38.925 million and it includes the $2.5 million roster bonus that Brown is due on the fifth day of the new 2019 league year in March.
Antonio Brown did not do himself or Steelers any favors by indicating he wants a new deal if traded. Part of his trade appeal is his cap-friendly contract. Some teams will shy away if he wants a new deal.
— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) February 12, 2019
Would another team indeed trade something of significant value for Brown and then turnaround and immediately give him a new contract complete with another big signing bonus? We’ll soon find out.
With Brown’s recent off-the-field resume dating back to last April not looking all that great right now, most other teams probably have decided the wide receiver isn’t worth trading for. Of the other few teams who might be willing to turn a blind eye to Brown’s off-the-field issues, a few of those surely won’t won’t to invest guaranteed money in him should they trade for him.
Brown’s angle at this point might be for him to get himself released from the Steelers so that he can then negotiate a new contract with a different team. He’s scheduled to earn $15.125 million in 2019 and might feel like he can top that if able to get himself released from the Steelers.
The Steelers can’t officially trade Brown until the start of the 2019 league year and that’s a little more than four weeks away. They can attempt to have a deal in place prior to that date, however. Regardless of how things work out between now and the start of the 2019 regular season, it’s becoming more likely by the day that Brown has played his last snap for the Steelers. If Brown continues to sabotage his stock at the same rate he has since Week 17 of the 2018 regular season, the Steelers might have to end up cutting him if they can’t find a team willing to trade for him in the next month.