Fooch’s update: This suggests plausible deniability.
Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said last week that three teams had reached out with interest in wide receiver Antonio Brown. We can cross the San Francisco 49ers off that list for the time being. Head coach Kyle Shanahan told local media on Wednesday that the 49ers are not among the teams to reach out to Pittsburgh.
I’m not shocked Shanahan would deny being one of the three teams to reach out, but I also don’t think this forecloses the idea that they might be interested in Brown. He’s a dynamic playmaker, but he has also created headaches in Pittsburgh. I think some of that has to do with Ben Roethlisberger, but it is still something that factors into the decision-making process for trying to trade for him.
Although Brown has expressed interest in the 49ers via social media, I’m skeptical he ends up in Santa Clara this year. We ran a poll yesterday asking where he will end up, and the 49ers lead with 45 percent of the vote. The next closest is the Green Bay Packers at 16 percent. They make a lot of sense, but I ended up voting for the New York Jets. I could see the Jets or the Indianapolis Colts as strong possibilities. Even though they are in the AFC, they are out of division and not the Patriots — and a deal to the Jets might be a nice little thumb in the eye to New England.