Antonio Brown reportedly to be traded by SteelersBy Matt Verderame
The Pittsburgh Steelers are willing to trade Antonio Brown. Hell, they are likely to trade the 30-year-old receiver, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.
This doesn’t come as a total shock. Pittsburgh has been in turmoil all year when it comes to Antonio Brown. Despite his incredible talents and continued output, Brown has put the team through the proverbial wringer. There was the threatening of an ESPN reporter over the summer. Then there was the alleged incident that had Brown throwing furniture off a 14th floor balcony. In-season, Brown asked to be traded via Twitter and then didn’t show up for a pair of practices in Week 17. Of course, that includes a Wednesday blow-up with Ben Roethlisberger, followed by leaving Pittsburgh’s game that weekend at halftime.
Ultimately, Brown is making it very tough for the Rooney family to bring him back for another season. With JuJu Smith-Schuster emerging as a top target — Smith-Schuster was voted as the team MVP by the players — it might be time to sell on Brown. The seven-time Pro Bowler turns 31 years old in July. As well as that, he still has three years on his contract at a value of just under $60 million. In essence, Brown is on the block and could be had for the price of a first-round pick and then some, per La Canfora’s report.
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But is Antonio Brown worth the draft capital and the aforementioned headache? He’s still one of the elite players in the game today regardless of position, but he’s become an off-field issue on more than one occasion. Perhaps a change of scenery would do him good, although one wonders if he goes somewhere without a top-flight quarterback who can get him numbers, does everything go completely sideways?
The other question here is whether the Steelers should simply hold onto Brown and hope for one more good year. Pittsburgh has an aging quarterback in Roethlisberger. He’s not going to play another five years, and dealing Brown would be a huge blow to any hopes of winning the Super Bowl in 2019. On the other side of things, removing Brown and the drama that has come with him might be addition by subtraction if the Steelers can find a player or two to help offset his loss in production.
Pittsburgh doesn’t have an easy answer here. Brown is a future Hall of Famer and because of Roethlisberger’s age, time is short. What the Steelers end up deciding here could full well decide their season come autumn.