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.
Highlights from Steelers Practice 9/30/20
The Steelers were back to work on the practice field Wednesday despite learning their upcoming game against Tennessee is being moved to either Monday or Tuesday.
In this clip, the defense, most notably the secondary works on coverage, runs to stay conditioned and shows the chemistry of the entire unit.
Footage courtesy Pittsburgh Steelers
Where Would a Monday or Tuesday Night Steelers Game Be Broadcast?
If the NFL follows historical precedent, the the Steelers game against the Titans, moved to Monday or Tuesday night by the league on Wednesday, will still be broadcast locally on CBS affiliate KDKA-TV, but no final decision has been for the game at this time, Steelers Now has learned.
In the past, when Sunday games have been postponed to a weeknight for other issues, the games have been broadcast locally as they would normally be on a Sunday afternoon, and not nationally in competition with other broadcasts.
ESPN has exclusive national broadcast rights for Monday night games and they will be airing the Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers game, starting at 8:15 p.m. Monday night.
There is no exclusive national broadcast window for Tuesday nights, of course, but there would have to be some type of arrangement made with CBS to remove the game from that network and have it be broadcast nationally.
KDKA-TV and other CBS affiliates in the Pittsburgh and Nashville markets would also have to deal with the prospect of pre-empting primetime network broadcasts. CBS is scheduled to air long-running series Big Brother on Monday night and NCIS on Tuesday night.
Steelers-Titans Game Postponed to Monday or Tuesday
The Steelers and Tennessee Titans will not be playing as scheduled this Sunday, the NFL announced on Wednesday.
The decision was made to “allow additional time for further daily COVID-19 testing,” according to a league statement. The game will instead be played on Monday or Tuesday.
The news was first according to a report by Dianna Russini of ESPN, who said that the reschedule date will based on the results of the Titans’ testing performed Tuesday and Wednesday.
In the past week, 10 Titans players and staff members have tested positive for COVID-19. Between the Titans and Minnesota Vikings, 47 players and staffers remain in the league’s contact tracing protocol, which requires back-to-back negative PCR tests to return from.
The first round of that testing reportedly showed no positive Vikings and one new positive amongst the Titans.
The options for playing the game outside of Sunday at 1 p.m. appear to be playing the game Monday night, Tuesday night or rescheduling it to Week 7, Tennessee’s bye week, and moving the Steelers game with the Baltimore Ravens scheduled for that weekend to Week 8, when both Pittsburgh and Baltimore were supposed to be idle.