Will the Pittsburgh Steelers ultimately be able to trade wide receiver Antonio Brown before having to pay him the $2.5 million roaster bonus they owe him? Is interest from other teams wanting to potentially trade for Brown at the annual scouting combine really picking up like general manager Kevin Colbert suggested a few days ago? It’s really hard to answer those questions with certainty right now but more reports are surfacing Monday night that state multiple teams are indeed interested in potentially trading for Brown.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the three teams that have shown the most interest in trading for Brown to date are the Oakland Raiders, Washington Redskins and Tennessee Titans, per league sources.
The Raiders being interested in Brown isn’t overly surprising as they really could use a top wide receiver on their roster after trading away Amari Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys for a first-round draft pick last year. The Raiders currently have three first-round draft picks to play with and a total of five selection in the first 66. Raiders head coach Jon Gruden even did a great job of somewhat sidestepping questions about Brown a few days ago when he held his scouting combine press conference.
“Well, I don’t like veteran players, so I’ll just leave it at that,” Gruden said jokingly when asked about acquiring Brown. “I’m not going to speculate about anybody. We are going to look at every vehicle possible. Certainly, the financial aspect of every acquisition has to be considered, but we are going to look into everybody’s availability and what is best for our team.”
The Redskins reportedly having interest in Brown isn’t overly surprising as well. In fact, I wrote about them potentially being a wild card in the Brown sweepstakes a few days ago as their head coach Jay Gruden, bother of the Raiders Jon Gruden, is going to be on the hot seat in 2019 and he’s likely going to need a new quarterback and a top wide receiver this offseason if he wants to remain in Washington past this upcoming season. The Redskins also have some draft capital to play with this year as not only do they have mid-round selections in the first two rounds of this year’s draft, they also currently possess two third-round selections.
As for the Titans possibly being interested in Brown, that’s a bit of a surprise and especially based on what their head coach Mike Vrabel said at the combine this week when asked a more indirect question about Brown and about bringing in a personality such as his from the outside during his combine press conference.“I think the one thing that is a clear message to our team that I try to tell them is that we’re going to treat you the same way you treat the team,” Vrabel said. “And it’s an easy way to say that we treat everybody fairly, but we treat them differently. There’s a lot of things that you can put up with as a coach and a team, and there’s some things that you can’t. I think that it’s important that any time you bring in somebody from outside the organization, whether that it be in free agency or you trade for a player, you just have to make sure that you know and are comfortable with what you’re getting. That’s the tough part.
“We spend a lot more time in the draft and the post-draft process than we do in free agency because really we just don’t know. You’re only watching the tape. Yeah, you can have them in for a visit, but sometimes these deals are done well before there’s some visit or some dinner or some handshake.”
The Titans, in case you’re curious, currently own the 19th overall selection in this year’s draft. Their second and third-round selections are 51st and 83rd overall.
According to Schefter’s Monday report, the Steelers’ original asking price for Brown started out as a first-round pick and other compensation, but it’s now has been reduced to just a first-round pick. Schefter ended his report by stating that while other teams have also had conversations with the Steelers about trading for Brown, the belief as of right now is that the Raiders, Redskins and Titans are the most likely ones to deal for the wide receiver.