Pittsburgh Steelers disgruntled receiver Antonio Brown has reportedly requested a trade. The Green Bay Packers should trade for his services.
The Green Bay Packers’ should look into trading for Pittsburgh Steelers star receiver Antonio Brown. The seven-time Pro Bowler and five-time All-Pro reportedly asked to be traded earlier this week, according to Jason La Canfora.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Brown was benched in a pivotal Week 17 game against the Cincinnati Bengals — not because of a knee injury, which randomly surfaced earlier in the week — because Brown reportedly skipped practice and team meetings leading up to Sunday’s game.
It started when Brown allegedly threw a football at quarterback Ben Roethlisberger after a disagreement in Wednesday’s walk-through practice. Brown then left the stadium under his own decision, shouting, “I’m done! Why don’t you guys just trade me”, according to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport. Brown wouldn’t practice with the team the rest of the week.
The Steelers’ decision to sit Brown in Week 17 was ultimately the right choice, but Pittsburgh’s offense was clearly off-base without his presence. Trading away arguably the best receiver in the NFL would be hard, but the return on investment might be worth it.
The emergence of second-year wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster, 22, could allow the Steelers to ship off Brown, 30, to a team looking for a boost in the passing game. Pittsburgh also drafted wide receiver James Washington in the second-round of last year’s draft.
Meanwhile, the Packers have an emerging star receiver of their own in Davante Adams. Adams came close to a record-breaking year in 2018, almost eclipsing team records in receptions and yards. He finished the season with 111 receptions for 1,386 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Still, for anyone watching Green Bay’s offense this season, it was clear the Packers offense was missing another dynamic playmaker outside of Adams. Tight end Jimmy Graham was supposed to help fill that role, but was largely disappointing in his first season with the team.
The argument for the Packers acquiring Brown, who’s posted no less than 1,284 receiving yards since 2013, becomes pretty easy to make.
While he would command a large portion of the Packers’ salary cap in 2019, Green Bay has several players coming off the books next season. Both Clay Matthews and Randall Cobb have expiring contracts, which creates nearly $25 million alone in cap space.
Not to mention the fact that Green Bay could elect to release several other players who eat a significant portion of the cap. Veterans Nick Perry, Bryan Bulaga, Mason Crosby and others could also be on their way out this offseason.
Currently, the Packers are projected to have nearly $38 million in cap space, according to Spotrac. Brown, meanwhile, is in the middle of a four-year, $68 million deal he signed in 2017. He’s scheduled to make $22.2 million next season, but the Packers could easily restructure the deal in such a way that plays to their advantage.
With such a high salary in 2019, and a clear disgruntlement between Brown and his quarterback, could the Steelers be persuaded to trade him for the right price?
The Packers should at least be in the conversation when it comes to trading for Antonio Brown. With an extra first-round selection from the New Orleans Saints in the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft, and a rare high-draft pick at No. 12 overall, perhaps Gutekunst could package together a first- and third-rounder for the Steelers’ stud wideout.