The horse is out of the barn, and the Steelers are trying their damnedest to corral it.
With owner Art Rooney II telling receiver Antonio Brown that they’ll try to trade him, the Steelers necessarily will be operating from a position of weakness when negotiating with other teams. They’re now trying to regain the upper hand by suggesting that maybe they’ll keep him.
Via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, G.M. Kevin Colbert confirmed that the team will try to trade Brown. However, Colbert said the Steelers won’t give him away — and that if the trade doesn’t benefit the Steelers, they will keep him.
Colbert added that the Steelers will be seeking “significant compensation,” whatever that means.
That may be news to Brown, definitely unwelcome. He wants out, and he’ll want the Steelers to take whatever they can get if it means getting him to a team for which he wants to play — and that will re-do his contract.
Last year, the Steelers got a third-round pick from the Raiders for receiver Martavis Bryant. So what will the Steelers want for Brown? At this point it’s not known, but it sounds like there’s a threshold below which they won’t go.
Or, at a minimum, a threshold below which they want other teams to think they won’t go.