A bit more information came out Saturday that we can use for our own Antonio Brown watch. Yesterday, it was said the Pittsburgh Steelers were considering their options with Brown and the steep price of a first-round NFL draft pick would be the cost. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen now reports that while the Steelers continue their options, if a trade were to happen it would be before the new league year, which begins on March 13th.
Some other things to take from Mortenson’s report is that salary cap wouldn’t be much of an issue. The Steelers get some salary cap space back to the tune of $14.5 million via running back Le’Veon Bell’s no-show for 2018. It’s not in the books yet.
The reason for the deadline? Brown gets a roster bonus of $2.5 million and the Steelers would like to not be on the hook for that.
This isn’t much new in terms of Brown that we didn’t know, but it does provide a time table of when things should go down. We talked about what you would give up for Brown if you were calling the shots. Some agreed with my assessment of a third round pick while others would pay a 2020 first rounder.
Despite a time-table and how more smoke is growing that Brown could be gone by mid-March, we are still a long ways away before we can start anticipating that he’s on the trade block or if the San Francisco 49ers will be a potential suitor. With the 49ers’ positioning in the draft, a first round pick is out of the question. I am willing to think the Steelers have just set the market up at that amount to negotiate. A team may do the deal, or the Steelers may need to take less than their asking price. It’s far too early to assume anything. At this point this is just exploring options/setting some parameters on ‘what if?’ and dipping their toe in the water.