Although it’s far from the case in actuality, many are accepting it as a foregone conclusion that Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown will be playing in another city in 2019. The nine-year veteran still has three years on his contract but has clearly expressed his desire to be traded, and most expect that request to be obliged, simply because it may be best for both parties at this point.
With that in mind, Pro Football Talk tossed around some ideas about who they thought the best fits would be for Brown. After initially putting the Steelers themselves out there, it was Mike Florio who went for the obvious answer in the San Francisco 49ers.
“I’m gonna go with the team that he wants to play for, because I think one of the key ingredients in having a happy and productive Antonio Brown is to give him what he wants”, he said. “He doesn’t want Pittsburgh; he wants to play for the 49ers. Fine. Trade him to the 49ers. The word just came out that the 49ers are not picking up the option on Pierre Garcon. So it would be Marquise Goodwin and Antonio Brown and George Kittle and it feels like that would make the most sense”.
“You get a healthy Jimmy Garoppolo and the sky’s the limit for Antonio Brown in that offense, and I think that’s the no-brainer best destination because that’s where he wants to be”, he added. Even Jerry Rice was stumping for him.
“I’m gonna go with the Jets. I think Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown would be perfect together on the Jets. They have close to $100 million in cap space”, he co-host countered. “The Jets, New York, I feel like they’re the type of franchise that would take a risk on a guy like Antonio Brown. They have an offensive coach now. They have to put weapons around Sam Darnold now because they drafted him in the first round. I think Antonio Brown, Le’Veon bell are going to both be New York Jets next year”.
Florio responded with an interesting suggestion that might be a hard sell due to the team’s struggles. “I’m gonna go with the Cardinals. Even though they’re not good, they need a star player, and he would be happy there, I think. He would be appreciated there. They need this. As Larry Fitzgerald gets closer and closer to the end, who do the Cardinals really have?”.
How about the Green Bay Packers? “I think Aaron Rodgers will say ‘get me help, get me help now. If it’s a seventh-rounder, go get Antonio Brown’. And guess what? If you have a mercurial quarterback, you can have a mercurial wide receiver. Everyone can just be really salty altogether, and if you’re talking about fit, there’s your perfect fit”.
Maybe the most interesting suggestion came last, and that was the Los Angeles Rams. “Every year they find a way to make a move where we’re like ‘oh, who would’ve thought that?’. The Rams were interested in Odell Beckham, Jr. last year”, Florio pointed out. “I know they have Brandin Cooks, but you know, Robert Woods, maybe it’s time to move on. Antonio Brown, Brandin Cooks, Cooper Kupp. I think we’re gonna see the Rams do something big and bold to make us forget about the three points in the Super Bowl and this would be the thing to do it, and I think Antonio Brown would be happy there. They’re a team that just made it to the Super Bowl”.
Of course we’re in the opposite situation as a year ago with Le’Veon Bell. If the Steelers wanted to trade him, they needed Bell’s help. Now, with Brown wanting to be traded, he needs Pittsburgh to oblige. If they don’t, he’s stuck, and his only alternative is to not play at all.