Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert stated on Wednesday that teams potentially interested in traded for wide receiver Antonio Brown is beginning to pick up some with the 2019 scouting combine now underway. On Friday, in fact, a few reports stated that both the Oakland Raiders and New Orleans Saints are at least two teams potentially interested in trading for Brown.
According to Michael Silver of the NFL Network, the Saints appear to have some interest in acquiring Brown, and Ian Rapoport, also of the NFL Network, added a short time after that report that the Raiders, “along with several others”, have interest in Brown as well. Rapoport, however, did not name those other teams.
Keep an eye on the Saints when it comes to the Antonio Brown chase. AB in that offense would be sick. Just saying.
— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) March 1, 2019
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 1, 2019
The report that the Saints are interested in Brown is a bit surprising and especially with them already having a top wide receiver in Michael Thomas. Thomas, by the way, is entering the final year of his contract so it’s hard to imagine the Saints giving him a new very lucrative deal this offseason in addition to potentially having to give Brown even more money should they acquire him via a trade.
The Saints, by the way, also don’t currently have a ton of draft capital to work with as not only do they not have a pick in the first round right now, they also don’t currently own picks in either the third or fourth rounds. It’s going to be hard for them to deal for Brown with only having a second-round selection to use as compensation.
Sean Payton caught up with the New Orleans media here in Indy. Said the team hasn’t had any discussions on trading for Antonio Brown. But he wouldn’t tell us anyway.
— Larry Holder (@LarryHolder) March 1, 2019
The Raiders, however, certainly have enough draft capital to acquire Brown as they currently own five of the first 66 picks in this year’s draft with three of those being first-round selections. The Raiders also have an immediate need for a wide receiver such as Brown.
One thing that might have some other teams not calling about Brown right now could be related to the wide receiver saying recently that he’ll likely want more guaranteed money and thus a new contract from whatever team he ultimately lands with this offseason if traded by the Steelers.
After many conversations w/ many different teams’ personnel folks, it sure sounds like the bigger impediment in an Antonio Brown trade is his expected desire for a new contract, NOT the spectacle stuff.
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) March 1, 2019
The Steelers might receive their best offer for Brown next week when teams return home from the combine. The Steelers, however, can’t officially trade Brown until the start of the new league year which is now less than two weeks away. Brown is also due a $2.5 million roster bonus on the fifth day of the new league year and so if possible, the Steelers would likely want to have Brown traded away by them.