Following yesterday’s comments from Steelers owner Art Rooney, it’s not a question of if, but which team the Steelers will trade troubled wide receiver Antonio Brown.
If you’re expecting a deal to happen in the very near future, that’s not going to be happening. As we highlighted yesterday, the NFL trading period for the upcoming season doesn’t start until March 13. The other important date is March 17 which is when Brown is due a $2.5 million roster bonus. Trading him before the 17th would mean that Brown’s new team would be responsible for paying him this money.
What this all means is: look for Brown to be dealt sometime between March 13 and March 17.
Regardless of the soap opera and off-field issues that Brown brings with him, he’s still an elite wide receiver that will bring on-field production to any team that he’s traded to. The question now is which teams have a need for a top receiver, have the cap space and more importantly, have the assets to make a trade for Brown?
What Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin will be looking for in return isn’t known but it has to begin with a high draft pick (or picks). The Steelers need to add young, impactful talent and the best way to do that is through the draft.
Let’s start off with teams that I can’t see the Steelers willing to deal Brown to or wouldn’t have a need for: New England, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Houston, Dallas, NY Giants, Minnesota, New Orleans, Atlanta or LA Rams.
That leaves plenty of other teams and here are some teams that could make sense:
Carolina: Panthers have been looking for a #1 receiver for Cam Newton ever since the departure of former perennial Pro Bowl receiver Steve Smith. The Panthers will have the #16 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
NY Jets: Aside from secondary and quarterback, the NY Jets need talent at almost every position. Getting an established star like Brown for Sam Darnold to throw to makes a lot of sense. Plus, the Jets have a ton of cap space available. The issue however could be what do the Jets have to offer? They have the #3 pick in the draft and no chance they’ll give that up for the 31-year old Brown.
San Francisco: Like the Jets, the 49ers make a bunch of sense. They’re a team with some young talent and Kyle Shanahan needs to acquire some weapons for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. But like the Jets, San Francisco will draft high (#2) and won’t give that away for Brown. Can something else be worked out?
Buffalo: The Bills may be the team that needs a play-maker. They have their franchise quarterback but have very little of anything on the offensive side of the ball. Although they can use him, would the Bills take a chance or bringing in someone that can potentially ruin and bring a cancer to their locker room. The Bills have the #9 pick in the draft.
Oakland: This could be the team to watch. Doesn’t Brown and his baggage just seem like the perfect Raider and a perfect match for Jon Gruden? After a disasterous 2018 and the permanent move to Las Vegas on the horizon, Raiders need to make a splash but also need to win. With Amari Cooper getting dealt, Derek Carr needs some help. The biggest plus for the Raiders is that they have assets in terms of draft picks (#4 and #24).
Indianapolis: The Colts have quickly built a good, young, talented team and pairing Brown with Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton would make for a lethal offense. The Colts have plenty of cap room and will own a low first round pick.
Other Possible Fits: Detroit, Washington, Miami and Arizona.
No Guaranteed Money in Dwayne Haskins’ Low-Risk Steelers Contract
Further details of quarterback Dwayne Haskins’ new contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers have emerged, demonstrating just how low-risk the acquisition is for the club.
According to ESPN’s Field Yates, Haskins’ Reserve/Future contract with the Steelers is a one-year, $850,000 deal with no guaranteed money.
No bells or whistles to Dwayne Haskins' reserve/future deal with the Steelers: 1-year, $850K, 0 guarantees.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) January 26, 2021
He's got plenty of money still due from WFT.
This was all about fit for Haskins, with a good chance to develop in Pittsburgh, while the Steelers take a zero risk flier.
Simply put, the Steelers will not be on the hook for any money if they decide to part ways further down the line. If Haskins turns out to be a diamond in the rough for Pittsburgh, they will have acquired him on a tremendous bargain.
Haskins is not getting a raw deal financially either, as he is still being paid on his four-year, $14,416,611 rookie deal with Washington. Signing with the Steelers gives him an opportunity to prove himself with a steady organization without worrying about the financial implications.
A first round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft out of Ohio State, Haskins was waived by Washington in late December after the young quarterback was photographed maskless at a strip club, in clear violation of the league’s COVID-19 protocols and mid-pandemic common sense.
Haskins was shaky over two seasons in Washington, passing for 12 touchdowns with 14 interceptions, while completing just over 60% of his passes.
The Steelers are hoping Haskins can flash the talent he showed in his final season at Ohio State, where he completed 70% of his passes for 4,831 yards with 50 touchdowns and just eight interceptions. He finished third in Heisman Trophy voting in 2018.
By signing Haskins to such a low-risk, team-friendly contract, Pittsburgh will have an excellent opportunity to determine if some of that talent is still there.
Report: Steelers Interviewing Mike Sullivan for QB Coach Vacancy
The Pittsburgh Steelers are reportedly interviewing Mike Sullivan for their quarterbacks coach vacancy, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac.
A 17-year coaching veteran at the NFL level, Sullivan was most recently the quarterbacks coach for the Denver Broncos in 2018. He also has previous experience as an offensive coordinator with the New York Giants (2016-17) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2012-12).
Sullivan is currently the Director of Recruiting at his alma mater Army, a position he has held since March of last year.
Sullivan would also bring additional championship pedigree to the Steelers, having won Super Bowls XLII and XLVI with the Giants.
Former Giants quarterback Eli Manning had one of the best seasons of his career in 2011 under Sullivan, passing for a career-high 4,933 yards and 29 touchdowns.
The Steelers are looking to fill the void left by Matt Canada, who was officially promoted to offensive coordinator on Monday.
The Steelers are talking to Mike Sullivan, a long-time former offensive coordinator/QB coach with the NY Giants and Denver Broncos, about becoming their QB coach, per source.— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) January 26, 2021
Mic Drop: Rooting for Antonio Brown or Le’Veon Bell Is Easy Choice
The idea that either Antonio Brown or Le’Veon Bell will become a Super Bowl champion after Super Bowl LV isn’t exactly something that makes Steelers fans excited for the big game. With that said, Mike Asti feels deciding who to root for should be an easy choice for Steelers fans. He wants to set the record straight once and for all of why Pittsburgh fans need to stop grouping the two former Steelers together.
While they both left the franchise in a cloud of drama, Le’Veon Bell doesn’t deserve to be treated as if he committed the same kind of sins against the Steelers that Antonio Brown did.