The Antonio Brown sweepstakes is on, and the Denver Broncos may have an early lead for the talented wide receiver.
On Tuesday, Brown officially laid out his demand to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a trade after several weeks of growing tensions between the All Pro wide receiver and the team’s front office. Brown made his intentions clear by posting a video on Twitter of his highlights with the team and the caption, “Thank you SteelerNation for a big 9 years…time to move on and forward……….
Antonio Brown had started the trade rumor mill churning when he failed to show up to practice the day before the team’s season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals. With a playoff berth still on the line, Brown didn’t suit up for the finale and it appeared his tenure with the Steelers was over.
That seems to be official now, and the rumors about Antonio Brown’s next destination are already starting. The USA Today blog Broncos Wire speculated that the Denver Broncos would make a major play for Brown. The report noted that KUSA-TV reporter Mike Klis, who is very well-connected with Broncos insiders, said he believes that head coach Vic Fangio and wide receivers coach Zach Assanni could keep the often unpredictable wide receiver in check. That would be an important consideration with no-nonsense John Elway at the helm.
— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) February 12, 2019
There is no official sign from the Denver Broncos that they might be considering a trade for Antonio Brown, but the team would seem to have a unique opportunity for a rapid rebuild with Brown and the possibility of finding a new quarterback in the upcoming NFL Draft.
It is also not yet clear what the Pittsburgh Steelers would get in return for Antonio Brown. As ESPN reported, the team believes Brown is “too good not to get high-end capital” and wants at least a first-round pick in return for him. The Broncos have the No. 10 overall pick, but it may not be too steep of a price given that Brown has a relatively low-end salary of $12.625 million next year, $11.3 million in 2020, and $12.6 million in 2021. If there is a race among several teams seeking to trade for Brown, and if the Broncos are willing to part with their first-round pick this year, it may be the best offer the Steelers are able to get for him.