NFL Trade Rumors: Who Will Take The Big Risk On Antonio Brown

Antonio Brown
Antonio Brown (Photo: Paula Lively | Wikimedia Commons)

Antonio Brown has long been rumored to be on the way out of Pittsburgh and the 30-year-old wide-receiver made it all official after requesting a trade from the Steelers. Brown posted a tweet on social media, saying farewell to the Steelers who tolerated his antics for years.

According to a report by ESPN, Antonio Brown wanted to prove he can thrive in the NFL with another team. He has reportedly grown tired of being the scapegoat of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ woes. To date, there is no clear picture on who would be interested in the 195th pick of the 2010 NFL Draft.

Trading Brown may take some time with potential teams likely to weigh in on his tantrums. This includes showing up late for work a day before the season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals. Before that, Brown has had a history of being late for meetings and games before a big change occurred last year.

One team that could come knocking is the San Francisco 49ers. In another social media rant, Brown photoshopped himself in a 49er uniform and FaceTimed with 49ers legend Jerry Rice. Despite a rocky relationship with the Steelers, team president Art Rooney II tried to reach out to Brown but his efforts went for naught. It seems pretty clear that the former Central Michigan product wants out of Pittsburgh.

Brown is reportedly at odds with some Steelers personnel. That includes head coach Tom Coughlin and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Brown and Roethlisberger’s tension is apparent, particularly when both got into a heated argument before a practice session in Week 17, CBS Sports reported.

But before any deal can be made, the decision depends on the Steelers top brass. There are financial angles to be considered – including the proper timing on when to trade the controversial wide receiver.

Brown is due a $2.5 million roster bonus on March 17. If the Steelers trade him before that date, they would absorb $21.12 million in dead money on their salary cap. That amount would rise to $23.62 million if Brown is traded after March 17.

Aside from that, he is also due salaries of $12.625 million in 2019, $11.3 million in 2020 and $12.5 million in 2021. He has no guaranteed money left. Trading him after June 1 would allow the Steelers to spread the cap hit over multiple years - $9.54 million in 2019 and $14.08 million in 2020.

With these options, it seems the only logical choice is to let Antonio Brown go. But the question now is which team would be interested in taking him in.

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