Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Colbert Had to Say Team Will Not Give Brown Away

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Colbert Had to Say Team Will Not Give Brown Away

Article excerpt

It is quite understandable that Kevin Colbert repeatedly said at his Wednesday interview that the Steelers would not give Antonio Brown away in a trade.

What was he supposed to say? We'll take anything for him, even a bag of footballs, inflated or not?

Admitting that would have driven the Steelers' return for Brown further down than the receiver already cost them in his actions, tweets, rants and elliptical manifesto. No smiling photo with Art Rooney II can erase all that in a potential suitor's mind.

What Colbert did not specify is what the Steelers would accept in return for Brown. Would they take a second-round draft choice? A third? A fourth and fifth? A player straight up, or a combination of draft pick(s) and player(s)?

They need either several teams to get involved in the bidding to drive up Brown's price, or one Jon Gruden.

Brown did not help matters with his antics during and shortly after the season. He also did not enhance his value to another team when he announced he wants guaranteed money.

For all his faults, the attractiveness of Brown is his talent and his current contract that has three years left at salaries of $12.6 million, $11.3 million and $12.5 million, none of it guaranteed. He also has a $2.5 million roster bonus due March 17 that another team will assume if the Steelers manage to trade him by then.

Those are attractive salaries for a player of Brown's stature, but teams might balk if he wants a new contract that contains guarantees.

It's also possible that if Brown goes somewhere else, he will leave all of his baggage in Pittsburgh. As Colbert pointed out Wednesday, he's one of the hardest-working players on the team, if not the hardest. He wants to be great and he will want to prove to the world that he still is great and can do great things elsewhere - that his greatness wasn't specific to the Steelers. …

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