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Colts Emerging as Favorites to Acquire Antonio Brown Ahead of NFL Combine

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in NFL Football

Feb 22, 2019 · 6:19 AM PST

Antonio Brown Steelers WR running after the catch
Antonio Brown and the Pittsburgh Steelers have mutually agreed it is time to move on. Photo by Keith Allison (Flickr) [CC License].


  • Brown has requested a trade from the Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Sportsbooks have established the Indianapolis Colts as favorites to land WR Antonio Brown.
  • Sportsbooks also offer a prop on whether Brown and Steelers RB Le’Veon Belll will end up with the same NFL team.

What are NFL teams willing to do for Antonio Brown?

After a late-season spat with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and especially with Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger, WR Antonio Brown insisted he was done with the Steelers and demanded a trade.

Brown was benched for the final game of the NFL regular season. He skipped out on the remainder of that week’s practices, reportedly after a Wednesday spat with Roethlisberger.

Nailing down a potential destination for Brown is no easy task. Talent-wise he’s on top of his game. He was 11th in the league in receiving yardage last season (1,297) and his 15 touchdown catches led all wideouts.

Sportsbooks are pegging the Indianapolis Colts as the favorites to acquire Brown’s services. It’s difficult to find any of the other 31 NFL teams that couldn’t use him in their lineup.

Odds Who Antonio Brown Plays For Week 1 of 2019 Season

Team Odds On Which Team Antonio Brown Will Be With For Week 1 of 2019 NFL Season
Indianapolis Colts +300
San Francisco 49ers +500
New York Jets +500
Oakland Raiders +500
Buffalo Bills +600
Arizona Cardinals +600
Denver Broncos +700
Detroit Lions +700
Houston Texans +800
New England Patriots +800
Field (Any Other Team) +400

*All odds taken 2/22

Just ten days ago, some books listed the Pittsburgh Steelers as the favorites with +150 odds, in spite of his goodbye message. Other books had the Arizona Cardinals as their favorite with +450 odds.

What Brown Can Do For Your Team

It’s more like what can’t he do?

Talent-wise, Brown is a legitmate No. 1 NFL receiver. No one can deny that fact. He catches lots of balls each season and goes for plenty of yardage. And he finds the end zone with frequency.

His combination of speed and quickness allow him to get to open areas in seams. Brown’s talents draw double teams, which open up other avenues of offensive opportunity on the field.

The Drawbacks To A Deal

Brown is 31 and although he’s yet to exhibit any decline in his abilities, generally, receivers not named Larry Fitzgerald begin to regress the deeper they get into their 30s.

Obviously, the elephant in the room in any deal is Brown’s diva antics. He has a history of bizarre episodes. Is his talent worth the potential risk that he becomes a polarizing figure and destabilizes a locker room?

Two For The Price Of One?

Sportsbooks are also offering a prop wager on whether Brown and RB Le’Veon Bell, who sat out last season in a contract dispute with the Steelers, might team up elsewhere.

Bell also hasn’t endeared himself to the Steelers with his recent behavior.

Odds Le’Veon Bell & Antonio Brown On Same Team Week 1 Of 2019 Season

Will Le’Veon Bell And Antonio Brown To Be On Same Team For Week 1 Of 2019 NFL Season? Odds
Yes +500
No -1000

The thought of both players being teammates somewhere else is very unlikely to come to fruition.

Bell wants to be paid big-time dollars. Brown’s contract is up in 2021, so any team seeking to invest in him beyond his current pact can’t afford both stipends.

What Does The Future Hold?

We can see the reasoning behind a Brown to Colts move, but not the logic. The Colts speak a lot of developing a culture in their room. Are they going to want to risk infecting that with cancer?

Weighing probabilities, the 49ers make the most sense. San Fran needs a target for QB Jimmy Garappolo. Brown likes the Bay Area. And it gets him far away from Pittsburgh.

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