Have the presumed favorites to land Antonio Brown dropped out of the bidding?
For weeks, most of the NFL Insiders have pegged the Oakland Raiders as the most likely destination for Brown but a Raiders beat writer doesn’t agree with that.
Jerry McDonald of the Mercury News wrote Thursday morning that his sources say that Brown coming to Oakland isn’t likely to happen for a few reasons.
McDonald cites the Steelers asking price as the top reason. The management team of Jon Gruden and new GM Mike Mayock want and need to accumulate young talent and know the draft is the only real way to accomplish that. Despite owning three first round picks (4th, 24th and 27th) in the upcoming draft, the Raiders won’t be willing to part with either the 24th or the 27th pick, which is a deal breaker (the 4th overall pick isn’t even being considered). If the Steelers are willing to take less than a first round pick, than the two sides could try to work something out.
According to McDonald, another factor in the Raiders non-interest is Brown’s desire to get a new contract extension. In fact, it was reported yesterday that Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenthal, reportedly promised to get his client a new deal in place as soon as a trade is completed. The talented wide out is already due $12.65 million in 2019, $11.3 million in 2020 and $12.5 million in 2021. The Raiders don’t appear to be real anxious to dish out a lot more money to the 31-year old wide receiver.
McDonald closes things out by saying “while there is some interest in Brown, it’s not enough to substantially alter the Raiders’ financial structure for a short-term again when the franchise is taking the long view.”
If this proves to be accurate, the Raiders, NY Jets, Arizona Cardinals and Indianapolis Colts all have no interest in trading for the talented yet problematic Brown.
JuJu Smith-Schuster Delivers Meals to Seniors on Thanksgiving
With his team suddenly off, Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster spent his Thanksgiving morning giving back to the Pittsburgh community.
Smith-Schuster — along with his dog, Boujee — helped deliver meals to less fortunate seniors in Pittsburgh on Thursday.
“It’s always been a passion in my heart,” Smith-Schuster said. “I think it’s huge when people give back.”
Steelers’ JuJu Smith-Schuster delivers meals to seniors on Thanksgiving pic.twitter.com/bEClYxPvrO
— JoAnne Harrop (@joannescoop) November 26, 2020
The Steelers aren’t playing on Thursday because their scheduled game with the Baltimore Ravens was pushed back to Sunday due to a COVID-19 outbreak with the Ravens.
After the team practiced Tuesday and Wednesday in anticipation of a Thursday kickoff, head coach Mike Tomlin gave the team the day off on Thursday.
Steelers President Art Rooney II Extends Thanks, Appreciation to Fans
On the heels of such an unpleasant day for many Steelers fans, and even a day that left several players filled with bitterness and animosity because their game was postponed, Steelers president Art Rooney II issued a statement on Thanksgiving morning.
In the spirit of giving thanks and moving on, Rooney expressed his disappointment about the current situation and his appreciation for the support of all of Steelers Nation.
“Though we are disappointed that we will not get to play for our fans on Thanksgiving night this year, we look forward to many more exciting times during the 2020 season,” Rooney said. “Today gives us all a time to reflect and appreciate what we can be thankful for on this holiday. And I want to add a special note of thanks to all our frontline workers for all your tireless efforts in these difficult times.”
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 26, 2020
Barring no more issues, Pittsburgh and Baltimore are now scheduled to kickoff at 1:15 pm EST. Just as the game would’ve been Thursday night, it will be broadcast on NBC.
Steelers Tops Among All Teams in Pro Bowl Votes; T.J. Watt Leads OLBs
The Pittsburgh Steelers lead all NFL clubs in votes cast for the 2021 NFL Pro Bowl, the league announced on Wednesday, with outside linebacker T.J. Watt the top vote-getter at his position.
The Steelers led all teams in votes, followed by the Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers and Buffalo Bills, and did so despite not having any players in the top five overall vote-getters and just two players leading at their position.
Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes has the most votes of any individual player, with 143,355 votes, followed by Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
For the Steelers, Watt leads all vote-getters at outside linebacker with 69,924 votes. Watt is a two-time Pro Bowler and is coming off a first-team All-Pro season in 2019. He’s currently tied for third in the NFL with nine sacks, one-half behind leaders Trey Hendrickson of New Orleans and Myles Garrett of Cleveland. Khalil Mack of the Chicago Bears paced the NFC’s outside linebackers with 47,689 votes.
The Steelers’ other top vote-getter comes at an unusual position. Long snapper Kameron Canaday leads all AFC long snappers with 48,869 votes. Canaday, in his fifth NFL season and fourth with the Steelers, has never made the Pro Bowl.
While the teams will still be selected, the 2021 NFL Pro Bowl will not be played. Instead the Pro Bowl events will be led virtually and the game will be streamed via Madden NFL 21. The game had been scheduled to be played at Allegiant Stadium in las Vegas on Jan. 31. Voting will continue through Dec. 17.