The Pittsburgh Steelers are currently seeking a trade partner for superstar receiver Antonio Brown, but the team says it isn’t opposed to keeping him, either.
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said Wednesday at the combine that the team would embrace keeping Brown if it doesn’t find a trade that benefits Pittsburgh.
Colbert: We're always going to look at Antonio Brown as a great player. … If we don't trade Antonio, he's going to be back with us. … We can't say what will happen down the road. The one thing that doesn't change is Antonio Brown's value, not only to the NFL but the Steelers
— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) February 27, 2019
However, Colbert also said that “interest has grown” around the league from teams seeking to make a trade for Brown.
“Ideally you’ll like to trade him to someone you’d never play,” Colbert said, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Media. “But if a team comes through with the best compensation you have to weigh that.”
Brown recently has been quiet on social media since meeting with the team’s brass. During that meeting, both sides agreed that trading Brown is for the best.
However, prior to that meeting, Brown was extremely active and caustic on social media, seemingly doing everything he could to force a trade.
If Brown were to return to Pittsburgh for the 2019 season, it would be awkward, to say the least. It would benefit both parties if the Steelers did move him in a trade. What Colbert is doing here with his statement is attempting to boost the trade value of Brown by trying to convince other general managers that they’ll have to offer a lot to land him.
Whether that strategy ultimately works remains to be seen.