The Pittsburgh Steelers reportedly are doing everything they can to avoid an Antonio Brown revenge game.
The Steelers would prefer to trade their All-Pro wide receiver to an NFC team for "competitive reasons," ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported Friday.
But if Pittsburgh has to deal with an AFC team, it certainly won't be the Patriots -- New England and the other three AFC North teams are "no-trade zones" for Brown, Fowler reported.
The MMQB's Albert Breer and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Gerry Dulac also reported the Steelers have no interest in dealing Brown, who officially requested a trade following a Tuesday meeting with ownership, to their top AFC nemesis in New England.
Pittsburgh general manager Kevin Colbert even suggested as much publicly, albeit in less definitive terms.
"I mean, when you're trading away a player like this who could determine your own record and your own Super Bowl potential, of course you want to not trade him to teams that might be a factor," Colbert said Wednesday, via ESPN.
"But if those teams step up and say, 'Look, we'll give you the best picks or the best players,' then we have to make that judgment. OK, yeah, they're a competitor, but what they're giving us far exceeds what these other folks are willing to do. So will we be selective? It depends on what the compensation is."
The Patriots have beaten Pittsburgh in five of their last six meetings, so it'd be a shock if Colbert agreed to give Tom Brady one of the best offensive weapons in the NFL.
As such, New England also would prefer Brown get dealt out of harm's way to the NFC instead of a potential AFC contender like the Indianapolis Colts.
But if Patriots fans need a big-name receiver to dream about this offseason, we'd suggest Odell Beckham Jr., because Brown almost certainly isn't heading to New England.
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