NFL Rumors: The Race For Antonio Brown Heats Up As Saints, Raiders Emerge As Frontrunners

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The race for Antonio Brown is on, and there are already a handful of teams rumored to be in the lead for the All-Pro wide receiver.

Brown earned his exit from the Pittsburgh Steelers after missing practice on the day before the final game and being benched for the key Week 17 matchup. Brown made it clear he wanted out of Pittsburgh, and after a meeting with team owner Art Rooney II, the Steelers agreed it was the best idea as well.

With Brown now on the trading block, there are at least a half dozen teams said to be interested, but a handful are emerging at the top. As ESPN‘s Adam Schefter tweeted, the Titans, Raiders, and Redskins have been the most active in seeking a trade for Brown.

A report from NESN narrowed it down a bit more, identifying the Raiders as the most likely team to acquire Brown. The Raiders lost their No. 1 wide receiver this season when they traded away Amari Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys, giving them another first-round draft pick to potentially build a team around Brown.

There appear to be other teams in the mix beyond the three identified by Schefter. The SB Nation blog Behind the Steel Curtain reported that the New Orleans Saints have also shown interest in Brown, though they may not be able to put together a package that could land him. The Saints don’t have any first-round picks or any in the third or fourth round, so they would likely have to offer a player or picks in the 2020 draft. But given how thin the Saints are on picks this year, it might be a difficult proposition to give away even more.

Whatever happens, it’s clear that there is no longer a future for Antonio Brown with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The wide receiver has become increasingly vocal about his distaste for the team, saying that the fallout wasn’t his fault.

“I don’t take any blame,” Brown said, via “I think I just took responsibility for my situation. I didn’t point the finger, I didn’t make no one look bad. I didn’t throw no stones at anyone.”

Brown has also been critical of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and others have noted that “Big Ben” appears to be avoiding blame for the team’s ongoing locker room issues.

It’s not clear yet exactly what the Pittsburgh Steelers may be asking in exchange for Antonio Brown, but it could be in the neighborhood of what the Raiders asked in return for Cooper, though likely a bit less, given that Brown is six years older.