SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports’ Lorenzo Reyes looks at three of the biggest stories NFL fans will watch unfold this offseason.
USA TODAY Sports
As both the Pittsburgh Steelers and wide receiver Antonio Brown prepare for a potential separation from one another, general manager Kevin Colbert said there’s no shortage of interest in the four-time all-pro.
In an interview Friday, Colbert said he had already received inquiries from three other teams about a possible trade for Brown.
“We’ve had, I’d say, three teams that have touched base with us and we’ll see how that grows,” Colbert said Friday on NFL Network’s “Up To the Minute Live.” “I think that’ll unfold over these next few weeks as teams get better perspective of what else there is available to them.”
On Tuesday, Brown wrote on Twitter that he and team owner Art Rooney II had a productive meeting in which both sides agreed it was time to “move on.” In an Instagram Live video, he also said, “If your squad want to win and your squad want a hungry wide receiver who’s the best in the whole world, someone hit my phone.”
Brown, 30, led the NFL with 15 touchdown catches in 2018 but was inactive for the Steelers’ Week 17 contest against the Cincinnati Bengals after he missed multiple practices and meetings leading up to the game.
Brown is due a $2.5 million roster bonus on March 17, and next week’s NFL scouting combine could provide the team with the opportunity to push along a potential trade. But Colbert reiterated on Friday that the team would not send Brown off at a discount or otherwise move him in a transaction that would not be fully in the team’s best interest.
“We’re looking at maybe not having this significant player, one of the best football players, not only on our team but in the National Football league,” Colbert said. “So of course if you’re going to subtract that player from your team, you better have compensation that justifies that. And that’s what we’re seeking.
“It’s really an evolutionary process. We don’t know how long it could take. We’re open to it. Again, if it doesn’t benefit us, we won’t do it. And that’s as simple as it gets. And that was explained to Antonio and to Drew Rosenhaus, his representative, in a very respectful way. They understand our thinking. If we can accomplish something that happens to benefit both sides, great. But if it doesn’t benefit us, it won’t happen.”
Follow Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz on Twitter @MikeMSchwartz.