The Antonio Brown sweepstakes has a deadline of Friday, and there is reportedly just one team remaining in the race.
The All-Pro wide receiver will soon have a new home after asking for a trade out of Pittsburgh. Brown had a quite contentious end to the season, missing work on the day before the team’s final game and not suiting up on game day — even though a win could still have put the Steelers in the playoffs. Brown met with team management — and owner Art Rooney II — after the season ended, but the two sides could not move beyond the impasse.
That has made Brown one of the hottest trade prospects in quite some time, with as many as a dozen teams being, at one point, linked to him. But The New York Post now reports that the race is down to just one team — and it’s likely the Oakland Raiders. The report cited ESPN, via Twitter, which called on an unnamed insider who said that it was a “one-team race,” because all other teams in the running decided the Steelers’ asking price was too high.
Though the Titans and the Redskins had both been in discussions with the Steelers, The New York Post noted that the Raiders are likely the last team standing.
“Oakland, though, might be the favorite given that they own three first-round draft picks (Nos. 4, 24, 27), and a late first-rounder could be just the price the Steelers desire,” the report noted, continuing on to elaborate further.
“There’s also the fact that in the past, Jon Gruden has been effusive with his praise of the 30-year-old Brown, who had 104 catches, 1,297 yards and a league-leading 15 touchdown receptions last season.”
NBC Sports also pointed out that Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has been high on Brown, publicly praising the All-Pro wide receiver. The Raiders shortened their receiving corps during last season when they shipped talented 24-year-old wide receiver Amari Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys for a first-round draft pick. That has earned the Raiders some criticism, as Cooper was both younger and cheaper than Brown.
If the #Raiders trade the 27th-overall pick (from #Cowboys) for Antonio Brown, they will have essentially traded a 24-year-old WR with zero behavioral concerns in Amari Cooper for a 30-year-old wild card pic.twitter.com/sUyoF0actf— Kevin Boilard (@247KevinBoilard) March 6, 2019
Brown himself appears to be eying the team across the bay from the Raiders, the San Francisco 49ers. Shortly after making his trade demand, he posted a picture of himself photoshopped into a 49ers jersey, per NBC Sports, and followed nearly all of the team’s players on social media, the outlet noted.
Wherever he ends up going, it appears likely that Antonio Brown is headed out of Pittsburgh very shortly. Adam Schefter reported on Wednesday, via Twitter, that the Steelers expect to move Brown by Friday.