If the Redskins still want to trade for Antonio Brown, they need to act quick.
Multiple reports show that the Steelers expect a Brown deal to be done before the end of the week, and that could present a problem for Washington.
The Antonio Brown sweepstakes are heating up: Sources say the #Steelers have begun telling teams that this is moving quickly and to give their best offers ASAP. This could wrap up soon. 3 new teams have jumped in the last 48 hours. Meanwhile, #Jets, #AZCardinals are out.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 6, 2019
Last week during the NFL Scouting Combine, a report showed the Redskins as one of three teams in heavy pursuit for the Steelers star wide receiver. It made sense, at least partially, because Washington got little production from their wideouts in 2018. Brown would change that immediately for 2019 even if a deal would present tremendous hurdles from the salary cap perspective.
Here’s the thing: The Redskins might not be able to move quick on Brown anymore as the team might be working on a deal to acquire second-year quarterback Josh Rosen from Arizona.
The Redskins have real interest in Rosen, sources have confirmed, and the Cardinals might be looking to move their 2018 first-round pick to clear room for Kyler Murray. A boatload of speculation points to Murray going first overall to Arizona in April’s draft, making Rosen expendable.
Much like the Brown sweepstakes, the Redskins aren’t the only team interested in Rosen. And that could mean the ‘Skins have diverted some former focus on Brown to acquiring a potential new quarterback.
Trading for Rosen makes way more sense than trading for Brown anyway.
Rosen is a 22-year-old QB on a team-friendly rookie deal.
Brown is a 30-year-old wide receiver due to make $16 million this year and demanding a restructured deal with way more guaranteed cash.
There is no doubt Brown is the better player right now, by a very wide margin, but he costs way more and has a history of outlandish behavior. Rosen plays the more important position and will be under team control for up to four more years.
Plus, the Redskins trading for Brown never seemed pragmatic, prudent or particularly plausible anyway.
The Raiders have long seemed the favorite to land Brown. Oakland has three first-round draft picks and cap room. Tennessee has been in the hunt for Brown all along too.
Green Bay and Indianapolis are some of the teams that might have jumped in the chase for Brown. Both have strong QBs that can handle Brown’s on-field demands, and both have cap space and draft capital to spin a trade. The 49ers don’t have Aaron Rodgers or Andrew Luck, but they have money and picks too.
Brown will land somewhere. He’s an incredible talent and teams will always look past other questions for incredible talent.
Never say never, but don’t expect it to be Washington, especially amid all the Rosen talk.
The Redskins need too much out of the 2019 NFL Draft to give up the picks required for Brown and for Rosen. Even if the team used current players as part of the compensation, it gets hard to pull the move off and still add impact players via the draft.
Amid all the trade talks, for Rosen and for Brown, a sense has emerged the 'Skins do not want to part with their first-round selection, pick No. 15.
To get Brown, other teams might offer a first round pick, and Washington shouldn't match.
The Redskins are not one player away, even for a player as good as Brown.
It's different to give up draft picks for a quarterback, especially one that offers the intoxicating combination of on-field potential and a highly attractive contract like Rosen.
MORE REDSKINS NEWS:
- Bad Interviews: Murray's leadership, work ethic in question after combine
- Complete Overhaul?: Chances 'Skins land QB and Antonio Brown
- Claiming Collins: Landon Collins hitting market after not being franchise tagged