When it comes to Antonio Brown, there are plenty of things that are up for debate, but the one thing universally agreed upon is that he is one of the top athletes in football today, having just come off a season in which he less the NFL in receiving touchdowns with 15, breaking his own franchise record in that category.
As we know by now, the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver is officially on the trading block, though General Manager Kevin Colbert suggests that he is merely in the display case, and that if nobody pops into the store with a sufficient enough offer, he’ll be taken down and used rather than sold.
Colbert said on Friday that following Brown’s meeting earlier in the week with Art Rooney II, three teams have already reached out to the Steelers to express interest in doing a deal. According to Pro Football Talk, this is the glass-half-full approach.
That three teams have reached out, they argued all day yesterday, means that 28 teams did not, and this is supposed to be a horrible sign. Colbert said that he expects activity to be ramped up over the course of the next week during the NFL Scouting Combine, where representatives of all 32 teams will meet with one another, which is too obvious to make sense, apparently.
Let’s not forget that the Steelers managed to get a third-round pick for Martavis Bryant on draft day last year. While the circumstances are significantly different in ways too numerous to list, the point is that the fact that ‘only’ three teams have called just days after it was made official that he’s available shouldn’t be setting off the alarms.
And provided that the Steelers are genuine in their claim that they are only willing to deal with him for the appropriate compensation, as was the case with Bryant a year ago, then the reality is that you only need that one team to call and to persist, as the Oakland Raiders did. Perhaps it will be the Raiders, and their three first-round picks, once again.
Will it be simple or easy to move Brown and his contract along with his baggage, especially if one of those bags contains his #NewDemands for a new contract, or guaranteed money? Of course not, but it’s not overly difficult either.
Brown’s on-field performance sells itself. He is a perennial All-Pro, even if he was left off the list this past year because of his off-field performance. All a team needs to be convinced of is that his issues were with the Steelers and that it will be different in their city.
So how about we revisit this a week from today and see how many teams have called the Steelers about Brown? I’m willing to bet it will be more than three. And remember, while trades can be agreed to now, none can be official until mid-March. The Steelers are notorious for working at their own pace, so they’re not in a rush to get something done for the sake of getting it done.