The Pittsburgh Steelers are now in the process of attempting to trade disgruntled wide receiver Antonio Brown and on Friday general manager Kevin Colbert announced during an interview on the NFL Network that a few teams have already called to inquire about acquiring the player.
“Yeah. Teams have reached out,” Colbert said Friday when asked how preliminary trade conversations with other teams are currently going. “We’ve had I’d say three teams that have touched base with us and we’ll see where that grows. I think it will continue to grow. Again, once you get through your own free agency evaluations, you have a much better understanding about the draft process coming out of the combine just from a physical, a mental, a health standard that we try to gather when we’re there.
“And I think teams come away saying, ‘okay, maybe this receiver draft isn’t what we thought it was, or maybe it’s stronger,’ you know, it could go that way, too. And we understand that. But right now the one thing that doesn’t change is Antonio Brown and his value as a football player, not only to us, but what he could do for somebody else.”
Colbert also reiterated again on Friday that he’s not sure how long it might take to trade Brown and that the team won’t deal him unless they find a deal that best benefits the organization.
“And it’s really an evolutionary process that really, we don’t know how long it could take,” Colbert said. “We’re open to it, but again, if it doesn’t benefit us, we won’t do it. And that’s as simple as it gets. And that was explained to Antonio and to Drew Rosenhaus, his representative, in a very respectful way and they understood that and they understand our thinking. And if we can accomplish something that happens to benefit both sides, great, but if it doesn’t benefit us, it won’t happen.”
Colbert was also asked if the team needs a first-round draft pick from another team as compensation for Brown to make dealing him beneficial for the organization.
“Well, I’m not gonna talk about what we’re expecting,” Colbert said. “I think I said, or I think you can understand what we’re expecting, because we’re looking at maybe not having a significant player, one of the best football players, not only on our team but in the National Football League. So of course if you’re going to subtract that player from your team, you better have compensation that justifies that. And that’s what we’re seeking.
“And this will evolve. Really, we’re in our free agency sessions right now. We move into the combine next week and the demand and the interest in a potential player like an Antonio Brown being available, I think that’ll unfold over these next few weeks as teams get a better perspective of what else there is available to them and whether or not they have the cap space Whether or not he stacks favorably against potential free agents or the draft.”
Colbert and company will be at the annual scouting combine next week and that’s when trade talks concerning Brown should heat up even more. Colbert will hold his annual combine press conference on Wednesday. The Steelers cant officially trade Brown until the start of the new league year and that date is now four weeks away.
Brown is also due a $2.5 million roster bonus on the fifth day of the new league year and thus it would be nice if the Steelers can have the wide receiver traded by then in order to prevent being on the hook for that money.