If you believe the Wednesday morning reports from the national media, the Pittsburgh Steelers hope to have a deal in place for wide receiver Antonio Brown by Friday, at the latest, and that’s not overly surprising. However, what if Brown didn’t like the team he was being traded to? Could he then go ballistic on social media in an effort to blow up an agreed to trade? That was a question I was asked on Twitter by a follower on Wednesday. It’s a good one and it prompted me to research and analyze it further.
For starters, with Brown already essentially saying on social media and in interviews over the course of the last few weeks that he’ll likely want more guaranteed money and possibly a new contract from whatever new team he plays for, wouldn’t a team willing to trade for him want to know what kind of financial demands the wide receiver would have before trading for him? I know I would if I were a general manager attempting to trade for Brown based on what all he’s said recently.
In short, it would be wise for a team to ask the Steelers for permission to talk to Brown and his agent Drew Rosenhaus before agreeing to any kind of trade so as to know what to expect when it comes to the player’s thoughts on playing for that team and his possible forthcoming contract demands. Should the Steelers not allow such discussions to take place, it could wind up nixing a deal, or at the very least, lower the compensation offer.
So, is it common for a team to ask another team for permission to talk to a player and his agent before trading for him? Personally, I would think so, but just in case my speculation was wrong, I asked former NFL agent Joel Corry of CBS Sports that very question and he thankfully quickly responded to me.
Corry essentially told me that, yes, teams that have serious interest in trading for Brown would likely ask the Steelers for permission to talk to the wide receiver and Rosenhaus. Corry even told me that back when he was the agent for cornerback Patrick Surtain that the Miami Dolphins gave him and the player permission to work out a new contract with the Kansas City Chiefs prior to them agreeing to trade for him.
“The teams have been talking on and off for several weeks, ever since the Dolphins granted Surtain and his representatives permission to seek trade scenarios,” wrote Len Pasquarelli at the time for ESPN.com. The one constant in the negotiations: Miami was steadfast in maintaining that it would not trade Surtain for less than a second-round pick. ”
After having those conversations,the Chiefs acquired Surtain from the Dolphins in exchange for their second-round selection in the 2005 NFL Draft. That deal also included the two teams swapping their fifth-round draft selections in that year. The Chiefs then immediately turned around and signed Surtain to a reported seven-year contract worth $50.8 million, with $14 million in guarantees included.
In summation, I don’t think anyone needs to worry about Brown blowing up any agreed to trade in the coming week as any team trading for him would likely want to know he’s on board with everything and what his contract demands are before even agreeing to any kind of deal with the Steelers. Now we’ll just sit back and see if indeed the Steelers can get a deal in place for Brown by Friday.
Special thanks to Corry for his answer to this question and make sure you follow him on Twitter at @CorryJoel and read his work online here.