Over the past several weeks Antonio Brown has done everything possible to destroy his trade value. Before this, the haul for the best wide receiver in football was sure to be a first round pick plus a significant player. After all the AB nonsense, the Steelers are left to be very creative in order to get proper value for their troubled star. In order to really maximize the return for Brown, Kevin Colbert will have to think outside the box. Using AB to and pick 20 to get in the top five might be the only way to get something significant back. Here’s how the deal works for each side:
THE 49ERS SIDE:
San Francisco has long been the rumored destination in any Antonio Brown trade scenarios. The 49ers have all the pieces on offense with one notable exception……. wide receiver. Clearly the number two pick in the draft would be off limits in a trade for Brown. That is, unless the Steelers were willing to sweeten the pot. If the 49ers could get Brown and still have a pick in the first round, it would be hard to imagine them turning that down. This kind of trade would go a long way in jump starting the Lynch/Shanahan rebuilding project in San Francisco.
THE STEELERS SIDE:
On the surface, moving up eighteen spots in the draft may not seem like all that great a return for a multiple time All-Pro like Antonio Brown. Getting the number two overall pick in the draft is where the fun begins however. The Steelers could then begin to shop that pick around to any of the quarterback hungry teams around the league. We have seen in the past teams pay exorbitant amounts to get up high enough to take a potential franchise quarterback. Just for an example, in 2016 the Rams traded their own pick (#15 overall), two second round picks in 2016, a third round pick in 2016, AND a first and third round pick in 2017 to move up to number one and select Jared Goff. While the Steelers couldn’t expect that kind of haul this year, it is reasonable to think a couple of future picks would be in play.
Continuing this hypothetical, let’s say a team like the Dolphins or Redskins wan’t to move up and get a quarterback. The Steelers could conceivably swap first rounders, then add a second round pick this year and a first round pick next year. In this scenario Pittsburgh would still be drafting 5 to 7 picks higher than their original spot at twenty, and would be collecting two premium draft picks as well. Now you’re talking! It’s not that big a stretch to think the Steelers could pull these kinds of moves off. That is, if they are willing to get creative with what has become a diminished asset.
If Kevin Colbert decided to stay at number two and draft a player, there would be several options that would help the team immensely. In fact, the Steelers should wait until the last possible minute to see what the Cardinals do with the first pick in the draft. If the rumors are true and Arizona takes quarterback Kyler Murray, then the Steelers would have their choice of premium pass-rushers. Players like Nick Bosa and Josh Allen would make it easier to swallow losing Antonio Brown. Whichever course the Steelers decide, this kind of deal is much better than settling for a late first/early second round pick for Brown.