The Pittsburgh Steelers' season only ended four days ago, but speculation surrounding embattled wide receiver Antonio Brown continues to ramp up.
"I think they would trade him," Schefter told KNBR's "Murph & Mac" on Thursday. "I think -- look, they haven't made a decision. They don't have to make a decision. The new league year doesn't begin until early March. But why would you not trade him when the money is a wash. ... And, when you have somebody walk out on a team like that at a time like they have today, it's a tough thing to do. It really is."
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In the same interview, Schefter said he believed the Steelers would want to trade Brown before he is due a $2.5 million bonus on the fifth day after the NFL offseason officially begins.
Brown, who is coming off of his sixth consecutive season with 100-plus catches and 1,200-plus yards, will carry a $21.12 million dead cap hit if Pittsburgh trades him prior to June 1. If he's traded after, he'd carry hits of $12.04 million and $11.58 million in the next two seasons, respectively.
Schefter said he doesn't believe that will encourage the Steelers to wait, as he doesn't believe they want to pay Brown more money. So, what might it take a team like the 49ers to acquire Brown?
"If there were a group of [interested] teams, I think the Steelers would definitely get back a [first-round pick]," Schefter told KNBR, citing the Raiders' trade of Amari Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys in October. "If it's not, if it's a smaller group of teams, my sense is that it would be some combinations of picks like a two and a five ... or whatever it may be. It just depends on what the market brings."
The 49ers have picks in every round, save for the fifth and seventh, of the 2019 NFL Draft. Brown is more established than Cooper was, but his age (he turns 31 in July) and the 49ers' needs on the edge might make San Francisco hesitant to trade the No. 2 pick. If Brown can be acquired for less than that, it's hard to imagine the 49ers sitting on the sidelines of trade talks, considering how much they need a top wideout.
The playoffs haven't even officially started, so there's still time before there will be any sort of closure on Brown. Until that happens, Brown's future will remain a major point of interest.