By Evan Ream
Throughout their franchise history, the Pittsburgh Steelers have had many stars that have brought them playoff wins and Super Bowl championships. Big names like Terry Bradshaw and Ben Roethlisberger have etched their names into Steelers history with long careers in the black and gold. But what happens if their star no longer wants to represent their organization? That’s exactly what is happening with Pro Bowl wide receiver Antonio Brown.
To understand where all this started, we need to go back to the end of the 2018-2019 season. The Pittsburgh Steelers were playoff hopefuls, with every game down the stretch being imperative for a shot at the post-season. While the Steelers didn’t completely control their destiny, the final game against the Cincinnati Bengals meant everything for their season. However, when it came time for the offense to take the field, there was one thing missing: Antonio Brown.
It had been reported that his sidelining may have been caused by a bad knee, but was later revealed to be due to an altercation with Roethlisberger, the Steelers’ quarterback, which led to Brown skipping team meetings and practices.
It doesn’t stop there. After the season was over, Brown made several tweets regarding his situation saying things like, “Thank you SteelerNation for a big nine years… time to move on and move forward” and “Organizations got the fans tricked.”
Then, on Feb. 19, Antonio Brown and Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney II met to discuss the future for the wide receiver. Brown tweeted that they “both agreed it is time to move on.” This put many Steelers fans’ questions to rest, but raised an even bigger question. What team will Antonio Brown be traded to?
Many Lions fans, including myself, are hoping for a trade to Detroit as Brown has Michigan ties. During his collegiate football career, Brown played wide receiver for Central Michigan University. But all a Lions fan can do is dream.
A more likely and rumored destination for Brown is the San Francisco 49ers as they have many assets to trade for Brown and are currently in a rebuilding stage. After recently acquiring quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo from the New England Patriots, Brown would be a nice addition to an up and coming offense.
I feel like this is the most likely destination for the wide receiver due to the many pieces and abundance of valuable draft picks available for a trade.
Another rumored landing spot for the wide receiver is the New England Patriots. This would be a scary trade for any other NFL team as it would give New England the much needed deep threat they were missing in this year’s Super Bowl, which they still won. While I think this would be a blockbuster trade, I don’t think the Patriots have the right assets to trade for Brown.
One more trade rumor that has been floating around is Brown to the Green Bay Packers. The Packers are coming off a very lackluster year, needing some serious help from a star player like Brown. While they do have an all time great quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, they are missing pieces that he can rely on to put six on the board and win games. I do believe the Packers have a shot at landing Brown as they have assets and draft picks they could trade for him.
Expect a trade for Brown in the coming days as the NFL draft begins on April 25 and it is likely that the Steelers would be asking for picks to turn into players as soon as possible. This news is exciting for any NFL fan as it could add a new star to any of the other 31 teams in the league.