On Sunday, we learned that Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown spent some time on FaceTime with Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice. On Monday, Rice spilled the beans on their topic of conversation during a conversation on 95.7 The Game. It’s not entirely shocking they discussed the San Francisco 49ers.
The hosts asked Rice directly if he got the sense that Brown would like to play for the 49ers.
“Yea. Yea. Yea. Yea. He wants to come here really bad. He’s talking about running the hill with me — doing all that and just working out. just picking my brain. And I don’t know if it’s gonna happen because it’s gonna be up to Kyle Shanahan and also John Lynch, but I’m all for it if they want him to come on board. And I’m looking forward to — I would be looking forward to just passing some of that knowledge on to him and being around this guy because I know he’s a great individual.”
This is not going to make a deal happen, but it’s certainly good to know where Brown’s head is at. Rice said the two have kept in communication in general, and he loves the idea of what Brown could bring to the 49ers offense.
“Antonio and I, we have always kept in communication. And this guy, man, he’s a totally, complete team player. I don’t know what happened in Pittsburgh, but I know that this guy, if he comes here to San Francisco, he’s gonna do everything possible to help this team to win. And when you got a tight end like George Kittle, a pretty good running game, Jimmy G is gonna be healthy and ready to go. If you can put a receiver on the opposite side, like Antonio Brown, it can really take this ballgame to a whole different level. Also, it sends a message to fans, that, ‘Hey, look, we’re not looking down the road to win. We’re looking to win right now.’ And, he’s that type of player — big playmaker that can make those big plays and really put a lot of fans in the stands.”
Rice probably does not have a whole lot of influence in getting a deal done, and frankly, Brown’s influence remains connected to how much of a pain he can make life for the Steelers. Team president Art Rooney has said Pittsburgh will not rule anything out other than that they won’t release him for no compensation. Steelers people think they can get a first round pick, but rival GMs think a second and maybe a third is as high as they could score on this.
Whatever the case, any significant discussions will probably not start until the NFL Combine. I could see some very preliminary chatter happening at the college all star games and during Super Bowl week, but the Combine is where things really kick into high gear as the new league year approaches. If the Steelers are intent on searching out deals, that’s probably when the national media reports will start picking up steam.
In the meantime, another Niner recruiter is welcome to the mix!