When the news broke that Antonio Brown submitted his trade request to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the immediate reaction was ‘no one is going to give up much’ for a troubled receiver. But as social media has shown – yes, yes they will.
The NFL’s best receiver is now on the trade block. The Steelers aren’t just mulling trade offers seeing if something worthwhile will come knocking at the doorstep. Now, they’re pushing for a move. With Brown’s trade request submitted and a Twitter goodbye sent to the fans, it’s almost unthinkable to say AB will be in Pittsburgh in 2019.
Despite all the headlines, skipping practice and what many are chalking up to a complete loss of character, teams in this league are going to trade for Antonio Brown. The record-holding wideout has been the best pass catcher in football the last six years and 15 touchdowns in 2018 showed no signs of slowing down.
In the NFL, productivity speaks louder than words. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case for the team that troubled player is currently on, but it is for the other 31 teams hoping to land him.
No one believes Brown will be this distracting once moved. Shipping him out of Pittsburgh cures all problems, stops him from hanging out with Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens and makes him the humble and hardworking player he was nine years ago.
They’re wrong. But until they see it for themselves that mask will continue to blind coaches, general managers and players from seeing the issues Brown brings to a locker room.
Which makes this easier for the Steelers. Despite popular opinion, teams will give up worthy compensation for Brown’s talent. They can’t not.
Think of the trades that have happened over the last year. Marcus Peters, Brandin Cooks, Amari Cooper, Khalil Mack, Dante Fowler, all worth significantly less than Antonio Brown (minus debatably Khalil Mack) all being moved for value no one believed they’d be moved for.
You can’t set a standard of a first-round pick for Cooks and Cooper and say Brown isn’t worth the same. It’s a new NFL – teams are looking to constantly grow and utilizing trades is now part of that blueprint.
Realistically, the last year has shown us that trades do happen in the NFL. It’s a new era of sports and Sean McVay and John Gruden have changed the whole dynamic of what players can impact your team. Organizations know Brown makes their offense tiers above where they are now. Him being on the trading block simply means they don’t have to worry about not being heard.
Antonio Brown is on his way out of Pittsburgh. Offers will be made for a price the Steelers are willing to work with. And when it’s all said and done, he’ll just be another move in an era full of transactions.