The Pittsburgh Steelers are out of Latrobe and back at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, also referred to as the South Side Facility. We are already into the regular season, where everything is magnified and, you know, actually counts. The team is working through the highs and lows and dramas that go through a typical Steelers season.
How are the rookies performing? What about the players that the team signed in free agency? Who is missing time with injuries, and when are they going to be back? What are the coaches saying about what they are going to do this season that might be different from how it was a year ago?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: How do you feel about the Steelers’ reported compensation for trading Antonio Brown?
Late last night, Adam Schefter among others—including Antonio Brown himself—reported that the wide receiver and the Steelers had agreed in principle to trade him to, of course, the Oakland Raiders. The reported return on investment was a third- and fifth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. For arguably the top wide receiver in the game.
That’s substantially less than what the Steelers wanted to get for him. their initial asking price reportedly was a first-round pick and then some. Then they walked it back to just a first-round pick when they weren’t getting enough interest. When all was said and done, it fell back to a third-round pick plus a fifth-rounder.
My guess is that had the Raiders been drafting lower in the second round, the Steelers would have gotten their second-round pick. But because Oakland has one of the top picks in the second round, they determined that that was too high of a resource to give up, so they sent their third and fifth over instead.
If it makes people feel any better, the Steelers can package those two picks to trade up into the second round and then you can say that they ended up getting a second-round pick for Antonio Brown. It’s a realistic possibility that they might actually do that, as well.
Brown really gave the Steelers no attractive options here. He more or less let it be known that he was either not going to play for them or he was simply going to be a major problem if they tried to hold on to him, and nobody gets anything out of that arrangement.
With this deal being made—which, again, is not official until the start of the new league year—both sides get something. Brown certainly ‘wins’ this exchange, getting out of town and a handsome raise on top of it, but he already won months ago.