Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert held his annual scouting combine press conference on Wednesday and as expected he fielded several questions concerning wide receiver Antonio Brown in regard to him potentially being traded this offseason. While Colbert reiterated during his 15 minute talk with the media that the Steelers must receive beneficial and appropriate compensation for Brown should the team trade the wide receiver, he did say that interest from other teams has grown some since he said last week that he had already heard from three teams looking into acquiring the player.
“You know, last time I spoke, I think I said three teams and what I would say is that interest has grown and it’ll continue to go one way or another because as we’re here at the combine, we’re learning about alternatives to your current team, whatever the position may be,” Colbert said Wednesday. “You may come away feeling better, you may feel worse, but the one thing that doesn’t change is Antonio Brown’s value, not only to us, but to anybody else in the national football league. He is who he is. So we have to weigh that and other teams have to weigh that against what their alternatives are and that’ll be more clear at the end of this week.”
In short, Colbert said that after teams learn more about this year’s wide receiver class at this year’s scouting combine it could result in firmer trade talks for Brown and that’s not overly surprising. Additionally, Colbert said Wednesday he would never identify any teams that the Steelers are having trade talks with in regard to Brown. He also wouldn’t say if the talks that he has had so far with other teams have included the prospects of the Steelers getting what he would deem adequate compensation for the wide receiver.
“I would say, again, everything is very, very preliminary,” Colbert said. “Again, coming out of this, I think there will be a change, be at one way or another.”
Colbert also made it clear that while the ideal situation would be to ultimately trade Brown outside of the AFC North division in addition to another team not on the 2019 schedule, he will not completely rule out dealing him to any of the 31 other teams at this point.
“Ideally you want to trade him to somebody you’ll never play, which you don’t know, Colbert said. “You can’t do that because if you’re good enough to get to a Super Bowl, you have to play him anyway. The less you would play him, the better. But if a team comes through with the best compensation, we have to balance that out. Okay, we’re going to play him twice a year, but we’re going to get the best compensation. So, it’s our job to do the better job with the compensation and you have to weigh that all into the discussions. We haven’t eliminated anybody.”