Antonio Brown is officially on the trading block, and the entire NFL knows that he is going to be in another uniform for next season. The Pittsburgh Steelers are going to look very different in 2019, as they will be without Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell — but no-one knows where those players will go yet. The New Orleans Saints are one team who have been mentioned in a possible trade for Brown, but what would they have to give up for him?
On Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Steelers began telling teams that a deal is expected to be in place by Friday for Antonio Brown, per ESPN‘s Adam Schefter, via Twitter. A number of teams have been mentioned as being in play for the trade, but it’s hard to know anything more than what the current rumors state.
The New Orleans Saints have often been mentioned in trade talks for Brown, and some may wonder why — given that they have one of the most explosive offenses in the league. That may be correct, but when a player with Brown’s talent ends up on the block, it’s a forgone conclusion that teams are going to look into what it would take to acquire him.
New Orleans has Michael Thomas as its No. 1 receiver, but he drew numerous double teams last year. When that happened, Drew Brees turned to Ted Ginn Jr., Alvin Kamara, Josh Hill, Keith Kirkwood, Austin Carr, Taysom Hill, and a number of other receivers. However, many analysts suggest that none of these names can act as a true No. 2.
— Bleacher Report NFL (@BR_NFL) March 6, 2019
A number of teams have thrown their hat into the ring when it comes to trading for Antonio Brown, but some have already dropped out. After it was revealed that a deal would be done by Friday, a couple of teams hopped out of the race — while three others reportedly joined in.
The Antonio Brown sweepstakes are heating up: Sources say the #Steelers have begun telling teams that this is moving quickly and to give their best offers ASAP. This could wrap up soon. 3 new teams have jumped in the last 48 hours. Meanwhile, #Jets, #AZCardinals are out.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 6, 2019
With rumors swirling, Saints head coach Sean Payton was asked about the interest that New Orleans has in trading for Antonio Brown. As reported by 247 Sports, Payton was his usual taciturn self and gave very little to the press.
“No, and I wouldn’t tell you if we had. Look, I’ve followed it a little bit like you guys have, and that’s really about it.”
If the New Orleans Saints are actually serious about trading for Antonio Brown, they’re going to have to make a very enticing offer to the Steelers. Unfortunately, it may not be enough — the Saints don’t really have a lot of picks to offer for this year’s draft.
The Saints have a mere one selection in the first four rounds of this year’s NFL Draft, and this is the No. 62 slot in the second round. From there, they have two fifth-round picks, two sixth-round picks, and one pick in the seventh round.
Antonio Brown is going to have a new team in the NFL, and it will likely happen by the end of this week. Could he land with the New Orleans Saints? If the black and gold want to trade for the All-Pro wide receiver, their offer will have to include high picks from future drafts.
The Pittsburgh Steelers may simply not want to wait that long for a payoff.