Antonio Brown wants out of Pittsburgh. And the Steelers are willing to trade him. If they can get “significant compensation” for him.
While the Steelers may simply be posturing, with a willingness ultimately to take whatever they can get, there’s a chance they mean it. If they do, it may not be easy to do a deal.
Brown has made it clear that he wants a new contract, which means that his new team will have to satisfy both the Steelers and Brown in order to get the contract done. Although, in theory, the new team could simply strike a deal with the Steelers and take Brown’s contract without adjustment, the new team would risk inheriting an unhappy Brown.
Here’s the problem. Whatever the team gives to the Steelers will influence what it gives to Brown, and vice versa. Draft picks have an inherent cash value, and if draft picks will be sacrificed to the Steelers, cash value will be withheld from Brown.
And that’s likely why the Steelers aren’t letting Brown work out his own trade. Agent Drew Rosenhaus would focus first on getting the best terms for Brown, with the best terms for the Steelers a secondary consideration. With the Steelers controlling the process, what they want comes first.
So the new team needs to make the Steelers happy, make Brown happy, and ultimately make itself happy regarding the prospect of absorbing a 31-year-old receiver and everything that goes along with who he currently is and hoping that his presence helps make the franchise’s situation better, not worse.
It currently can’t get much worse between Brown and the Steelers, but it definitely will get worse if the Steelers refuse the best offer they get and try to keep Brown around, with a contract he doesn’t like and a quarterback he despises.