Beggars can’t be choosers. The Steelers will try to be.
With the team recently admitting that only three teams have expressed interest in trading for receiver Antonio Brown even though owner Art Rooney II made it clear that Brown is available six weeks ago, the Steelers want to trade him only to an NFC team.
Per multiple reports, the Steelers will avoid trading Brown to one of their AFC North rivals or to the Patriots.
Ultimately, however, the decision will hinge on what a team is willing to give the Steelers, in comparison to the next best offer. If the Patriots, Browns, Ravens, or Bengals offer a first-round pick and the 49ers offer a fifth-round pick, what will the Steelers do?
What the new team will be willing to pay Brown is also a big part of this, since he’s made it clear that he wants a new contract. Which complicates the process considerably, and which will help put the Steelers far more squarely in the “beggars” than “choosers” category, when it’s time to choose between trading Brown or paying him the $2.5 million roster bonus that becomes due on March 17.