- 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.
— Antonio Brown (@AB84) February 12, 2019
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|
|San Francisco 49ers||+285|
|Green Bay Packers||+900|
|New York Jets||+1200|
|New Orleans Saints||+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?
What does the Antonio Brown song mean? Not much new. The #Steelers WR has requested a trade and would like a fresh start, source said, but the team has not yet granted that request.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 12, 2019
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.
— Antonio Brown (@AB84) January 10, 2019
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.
Antonio Brown wants out. But the Steelers have him under contract. And they would take a massive dead money hit to their salary cap if they trade him.
So Brown's mission is to become such a nuisance that the Steelers feel they have no choice but to trade him. We'll see.
— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) February 12, 2019
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.
— Yahoo Sports NFL (@YahooSportsNFL) February 12, 2019
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.