Antonio Brown is done dropping hints.
Amid reports Brown wants a trade from the Pittsburgh Steelers, the star wide receiver came right out with it Tuesday, essentially demanding a trade from the team that drafted him in 2010.
Brown is under contract through the 2020 season, so the Steelers aren't beholden to trading him. But the 30-year-old has become increasingly disgruntled with Pittsburgh and now has officially demanded a trade from Pittsburgh, ESPN's Adam Schefter added in a report Tuesday.
Antonio Brown has not been traded nor has he been released. But Brown wants a trade and he officially has requested that from the Steelers, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 12, 2019
One of Brown's "hints" involved the New England Patriots: In early January, he shared a direct message conversation he had with quarterback Tom Brady back in September.
The Patriots or any other team would have to pay a steep price to acquire Brown -- likely a high draft pick (or multiple picks) in addition to a player or two. And as ESPN's Field Yates notes, Brown comes with a very hefty contract that also would cost the Steelers a pretty penny if they moved him.
Antonio Brown trade reminders:— Field Yates (@FieldYates) February 12, 2019
* He's due a $2.5M roster bonus on March 17th
* If traded before 3/17, the Steelers would absorb a dead cap hit of $21.12M, $23.62M if after 3/17
* Brown is due $12.625M in 2019, $11.3M in 2020, $12.5M in 2021
* Brown turns 31 on July 10
Bill Belichick traditionally hasn't broken the bank on wide receivers, but considering Chris Hogan, Cordarrelle Patterson and Phillip Dorsett are hitting free agency this offseason, it's worth wondering if New England at least would place a call to Pittsburgh if Brown indeed is on the trade block.
Even if the Patriots steer clear of Brown, him leaving the Steelers for an NFC West club like the San Francisco 49ers would be a major development in the AFC playoff picture entering 2019.
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