Report: Steelers likely to trade Antonio Brown by March
It’s been a wild season for the Pittsburgh Steelers. They entered the season with high expectations, but following a circus that included Le’Veon Bell’s holdout, Ben Roethlisberger taking shots at his teammates on a local radio show and Antonio Brown skipping practices and requesting a trade the team missed the playoffs.
Chris Mortensen of ESPN also believes that Pittsburgh will acquiesce to their star receiver’s request and trade him this March when he’s due a $2.5 million roster bonus. Mortensen is reporting that there still hasn’t been much communication between the two sides and that he’s now more likely to be traded than not.
One NFL GM told me he thinks Antonio Brown won’t be traded, that Steelers will work things out with him. But momentum is building, with @mortreport reporting Steelers likely to trade Brown by March. https://t.co/d1T4F95iPE
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) January 6, 2019
Two years ago, the Steelers signed Brown to a four-year, $68 million extension. According to Mortensen, trading Brown would leave a $20 million dead cap hit, but that would be offset by $14 million the Steelers would get back when Le’Veon Bell signs elsewhere.
Adam Schefter reports that the Steelers are planning to extend and restructure Roethlisberger’s deal in the offseason. Brown and Roethlisberger have reportedly been at odds for the last few season.
Roethlisberger led the league in passing yards this year with 5,129, but he’ll also turn 37 this March and also lead the league with 16 interceptions—tied for the second most of his career.
Brown will be 31 this summer and despite coming off a down year for his standards, he was still 11th in the league in receiving yards with 1,297, and first in touchdowns with 15. Even after missing their Week 17 matchup.
Should Brown be traded, the 2019 NFL season would be Pittsburgh’s first without he and Bell since 2013.