While the Pittsburgh Steelers were fighting for a playoff spot, they were missing one of their star players: Antonio Brown.
What was shocking news at the time, the team announced that Brown would be inactive for the season finale with a “knee” injury. Turns out it was more than just an injury.
Brown and QB Ben Roethlisberger disputed to the point where Brown would skip practice for the rest of the week, which caused him to miss Sunday’s game. To make matters worse for Pittsburgh, Antonio Brown reportedly asked to be traded.
Could Brown actually be traded? We might wait a while when it happens (or if it does), but with seven Pro-Bowls, five All-Pro selections and over 11,000 receiving yards under his belt there is no doubt that teams will be calling about Brown’s asking price.
While every team in the NFL will try to see what they can get for the star Wide Receiver, I made a quick list of seven teams I think should definitely make the call and try to make a deal for the All-Pro WR. These teams are in no particular order.
Josh Allen had a solid rookie season and looks to have a bright future in Buffalo. What would be a better way to further his progression than to have a reliable target like Brown to throw to?
Currently, Buffalo has only four wide receivers on their roster (Zay Jones, Robert Foster, Isaiah McKenzie & Ray-Ray McCloud) so there is no doubt that Brown would 100% improve this receiving core. Additionally, the Bills have a lot of cap space so they can take his contract without a problem.
New York Jets
Much like Buffalo, the Jets took Sam Darnold in the 2018 draft and will to develop him into the franchise quarterback. In typical rookie fashion, he had his struggles but he also had his moments that showed he can be a star QB.
New York does not have any weapons on offense but they have a lot of cap space. They can easily bring in Brown’s contract as well as sign another top wide-out to boost the receiving core. His teammate Le’Veon Bell has been linked to the Jets at one point also. That definitely can get Jet fans excited.
The Jaguars were one of the most disappointing teams in 2018. They have the star-power on defense but that offense was horrible to watch. They have a lot of questions heading into the off-season, mainly who is their quarterback going to be?
Adding a guy like Antonio Brown to their offense would be interesting to watch. Pair him up with that right QB and you might have a more complete team than you think.
Not many people are mentioning the Bears and I feel like they are the dark horses. Yes, they made the playoffs and they are one of the best defenses in the league but they could use another weapon on offense.
The Bears already have a solid wide receiver core with Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel & Anthony Miller but Brown can definitely bring in a nice boost. Not to mention that it’ll no doubt help the continued development of Mitchell Trubisky.
The Colts are an interesting team to look at. Andrew Luck is one of the top QBs in the league and has helped T.Y. Hilton and recently Eric Ebron become the best players at their respective positions. Add in the fact that they have a great offensive line with a solid young running back in Marlon Mack and there is a case that the Colts and Brown fit well together.
Another factor is that the Colts have the most money to spend this off-season. So not only can they take on his contract, but they can also go after other top free agents without a problem.
San Francisco 49ers
Tight End George Kittle did not hesitate in the Antonio Brown sweepstakes and who can blame him?
San Francisco had a lot of expectations heading into the 2018 season but that fell apart once Jimmy Garoppolo tore his ACL. With Garoppolo expected to be back for the 2019 season, it would be nice for him to have another weapon brought on to the offense.
Kittle lead the Niners in receiving yards with 1,377 and the next best was Kendrick Bourne with 487 yards. Clearly, Brown would be a great upgrade in the Kyle Shanahan offense.
Green Bay Packers
There are two things the Packers need to address this off-season, a new coach and a way to keep Aaron Rodgers happy. To keep it simple, Green Bay’s 2018 season was a complete mess. This year will look to be a fresh start with a new coach.
Can you imagine Rodgers having AB as an option to throw to? Davante Adams is already a solid option, but the addition of Brown and the continuation of Aaron Jones being a top back, this offense can be scary. We forget that Brown is also 30 years old and this could be one of his better chances to finally win that Super Bowl ring.