A meeting of the minds featuring Steelers stud receiver Antonio Brown, his representation, team owner Art Rooney II, and other team executives has reportedly resulted in an agreement to try to trade the disgruntled star. Enter … everybody.
Indeed, there should be no shortage of teams interested in procuring Brown’s services. After all, we’re talking about a four-time first-team All-Pro and seven-time Pro Bowler who’s led the NFL in catches and receiving yards twice and is coming off a season in which he led the league with 15 touchdown receptions. He is as elite as they come at the wide receiver position.
So when rumors first surfaced of his potential availability, we thought of a trade to the Bears as something of an unlikely dream scenario. And yet, a pair of NFL pundits believe Chicago is a likely landing spot for Brown. In fact, they’re listed first among the four most likely destinations:
NFL Network analysts David Carr and Reggie Wayne believe there are just four likely destinations for Brown, one of which is the Chicago Bears. It’s a surprise to be sure, given the team’s cap situation and the perception of limited assets … but it’s a welcome one … because it’s Antonio Freakin’ Brown.
Carr and Wayne believe the Bears are a star offensive player away from taking home the whole enchilada, and that player could be Brown. And while I find it challenging to create a scenario that ends with Brown in Chicago, it’s certainly fun to think about. Imagine Brown running free and catching bombs down the left sideline from Mitch Trubisky. That’s what Super Bowl dreams are made of, folks!
As for the cost of doing business? Well, perhaps it isn’t as lofty as once thought.
NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero polled seven league executives from different teams and the consensus was that Pittsburgh would be looking for a third-round pick and possibly a player (and/or pick) swap in a deal for Brown. That’s not as pricey as one might believe. And while the Bears don’t have a pick until the third round, I’d be interested to see if that selection in conjunction with the Raiders’ second-rounder in 2020 would get the conversation going.
Then again, Brown will be 31 in July and has a base salary of $15 million coming his way in 2019. But still … it’s Antonio Brown, a star of stars at the receiver position who could be the type of game-breaker whose addition could create separation in what is expected to be a loaded NFC North.
It might’ve been nothing more than a dream at one point, but maybe it’ll soon become a reality.