If you’ve made it here, you probably already know Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown wants out of Pittsburgh. The 30-year-old, five-time All-Pro made that clear when he tweeted a video from his official Twitter account late Tuesday morning.
Thank you SteelerNation for a big 9 years...time to move on and forward..........✌ #NewDemands pic.twitter.com/fbIoFNdqK4— Antonio Brown (@AB84) February 12, 2019
ESPN’s Adam Schefter later confirmed that Brown had indeed requested a trade.
Antonio Brown has not been traded nor has he been released. But Brown wants a trade and he officially has requested that from the Steelers, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 12, 2019
It’s hard to argue that Brown has been the best wide receiver in the league over the past six years. He has averaged 114 receptions, 1,524 yards, and 11 touchdowns per season during that span.
Could Brown possibly land with the Chiefs?
It is hard to ever rule anything out in the NFL, but in this case, almost assuredly no.
Brown is under contract with the Steelers for three more seasons for nearly $60 million. That’s an average of $20 million worth of cap room per year for 2019, 2020 and 2021.
There are plenty of reasons for the #Steelers not to trade Antonio Brown -- namely, he's really, really good at football -- but "cap hit" talk is misinformed. It's basically a wash for 2019 and they'd gain flexibility in 2020-21. How you replace him is the issue. pic.twitter.com/6FucNjhfgP— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 2, 2019
The Chiefs are estimated to have just over $26 million in cap space for 2019 and still need to consider franchise tagging linebacker Dee Ford and extending WR Tyreek Hill and defensive lineman Chris Jones.
Acquiring Brown might mean giving up a 2019 first-round draft pick and a 2020 second-round draft pick, as estimated by SB Nation’s Christian D’Andrea. One would believe that after the Chiefs missed out on last year’s first round (thanks to the 2017 Patrick Mahomes trade), they will want to keep this year’s first-rounder to draft a premium defensive player.
In addition, while Brown would be an elite addition to any team, the Chiefs already had one of the league’s top offenses last year led by Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce.
Lastly, if you were the Pittsburgh Steelers, you probably wouldn’t consider trading him to one of the favorites to win next year’s Super Bowl in the Chiefs, especially given they share the same conference. If Pittsburgh can’t fix things with Brown, the ideal situation would be to trade him to an NFC club.
For those Chiefs fans who still may be dreaming, Kansas City isn’t even on the board in Las Vegas, according to OddsShark.
Odds for which team @AB84 will be on for Week 1 of the 2019 NFL regular season (Bovada):— OddsShark (@OddsShark) February 12, 2019
Dolphins +1500 https://t.co/8wgJwsR80K
Regardless of the Chiefs watching the Brown situation unfold from afar, it will surely be fascinating to see how it plays out. Brown being out of the AFC would be a positive when it comes to the Chiefs’ chances of getting back to the AFC title game and clinching a berth in next year’s Super Bowl.