The 49ers should have the room to acquire embattled Pittsburgh Steelers star Antonio Brown, but they're not the only ones.
NFL Media's Ian Rapoport listed the 49ers, New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts among the teams interested in trading for the wide receiver, based on their salary-cap space. Rapoport added Saturday on "NFL GameDay Morning" that he was told the Denver Broncos are a team to "keep an eye on" if Brown is made available.
According to Over The Cap, the 49ers have just over $62 million in cap space entering this offseason. That's fewer than each of the other teams Rapoport mentioned, save for the Broncos. Of course, those teams don't have social-media tea leaves on their side, although Brown did follow Jets defensive back Jamal Adams recently on Twitter.
Like each of those teams, the 49ers do need a game-breaking receiver. Brown's 15 touchdowns equaled the collective total of the 49ers' wide receivers this past season. He also has 100-plus receptions and 1,000-plus receiving yards in each of the last six seasons, something the 49ers haven't had since Terrell Owens caught 100 passes for 1,300 yards ... in 2002.
The 49ers also should have the necessary draft capital to acquire Brown. Rapoport said the asking price is believed to be a package centered around a second-round pick, based on conversations with NFL general managers (who may or may not want to drive said price down for their own purposes). San Francisco has one pick in every round, save for the fifth and seventh.
The Jets do not have a second-rounder in 2019, as it was traded to the Colts when they moved up to select USC quarterback Sam Darnold last year. The Broncos have a second-round pick as well.
No matter which team can meet the Steelers' asking price, though, Rapoport said Brown's differences with the Steelers are nearly irreconcilable.
"A lot of work would have to happen in order for [the Steelers] to accept Brown back next year," Rapoport said.
Given their needs, the 49ers probably won't have the same hesitancy.