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Bovada Still Favoring Antonio Brown to be a Steeler in 2019 After Goodbye Message

Antonio Brown Steelers wide receiver catching a touchdown pass
Antonio Brown has said goodbye to Steeler fans. Is the franchise going to let him move on? Photo by Keith Allison (flickr) [CC License].
  • Mercurial wideout posts thank you and goodbye to Steelers fans
  • Will Pittsburgh act swiftly to move past situation?
  • What’s the best bet to make in this saga?

Maybe the oddsmakers can see a repairable relationship.

Over here? Not so much. Not after Antonio Brown put this out to his fans across social media today.

This saga has been the NFL’s most prevalent drama since the team suspended him for the final game of the regular season. Since then, no one is quite sure what’s next, while speculation has run rampant about where his next destination will be.

Let’s try to unwrap this one as best we can.

Odds Where Antonio Brown Plays Week 1 of 2019 Season?

Team Odds at Bovada
Pittsburgh Steelers +150
San Francisco 49ers +285
Dallas Cowboys +900
Green Bay Packers +900
Buffalo Bills +1200
Arizona Cardinals +1200
Indianapolis Colts +1200
New York Jets +1200
New Orleans Saints +1200
Miami Dolphins +1200

*Odds taken 2/12

Steelers Not Yet Prepared to Bend to AB’s Wishes

If you think that AB has been sending out mixed signals, shouldn’t we also look at what exactly the organization’s part is in this?

Steelers president Art Rooney II – he of the almost entirely hands off approach – stepped into this melee when Pittsburgh’s season was over, and basically said that every option with Brown’s future was on the table, except granting him an outright release.

But since then, the team is in limbo in how they want to get after this situation – and it all has to do with the four-year, $68 million extension that he inked in 2017. That moment was etched into Steelers fans’ collective memory during one of AB’s social media outbursts.

Brown’s cap hit is $22 million in 2019, and just a million is shaved off their books if they trade him. Essentially, they’d be paying for his services on their cap sheet, while he works on year seven of what’s been a wrecking ball run.

In Brown’s past six seasons, his fewest receptions in a season are 101, receiving yards 1,284, and touchdowns is 8. He’s also led the league in receiving yardage and receptions twice.

The Steelers’ window to compete for a championship is closing rapidly, with QB Ben Roethlisberger now a season to season sort of deal, and star running back Le’Veon Bell all but gone.

While having Brown in the lineup and making big time plays is not essential, it certainly wouldn’t hurt an offense featuring Juju Smith-Schuster, Jesse James, and James Conner, talented youngsters who may not be totally ready yet for prime time.

What’s the Best Bet Here?

Sorry, but there’s just no scenario where Brown playing again for the Steelers is a good idea.

There’s been a rotating cast of suitors on the list of teams expected to court Brown: the New England Patriots were the favorites at one point, and so were the Atlanta Falcons. Today? They aren’t even on the list.

But a couple of teams have remained in the mix, and they both have the means and the need to land a star receiver. The lead player in this has to be the San Francisco 49ers (+285). But if you’re looking to make a big splash with a longshot, the +1200 team that you should be looking at are the Indianapolis Colts.

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Having worked in and around sports since 1997, Eric is truly a knowledgable expert. The two-time journalism grad specializes in all things NBA and NFL. From TSN.ca to CTV's Olympic Broadcast Consortium, Eric's work has appeared in local and national publications alike.