The Pittsburgh Steelers are expected to trade Antonio Brown in the next several weeks, despite the salary cap hit the team would take, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported Sunday morning.
That comes after Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin acknowledged Wednesday that a time could be near when Brown is more of a distraction than he’s worth in Pittsburgh after a week of discord in advance of their regular-season finale.
“The reason why it’s a high — I call it a high probability, and we have until March 13 new league year to see this come to fruition, he’s due a $2.5 million roster bonus five days after that date,” Mortensen said. “The Steelers, certainly because of what happened this week but what’s been festering behind the scenes even a couple of years beyond that, they will move him in a trade.”
If they deal Brown, the Steelers will face $21 million in dead salary cap space — about 8 to 10 percent of their total cap space. Mortensen said the Steelers expect to have $14 million in salary credit from running back Le’Veon Bell and plan to restructure quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s contract to clear cap space.
NFL Network reported the asking price for Brown likely would be a first-round draft pick or multiple high picks.
Brown had 104 receptions for 1,297 yards and scored 15 touchdowns in 2018. The 30-year-old is a four-time, First Team All-Pro.
–Field Level Media