One of the league’s very best receivers is officially for sale. The Steelers concede they will attempt to move talented but disgruntled Antonio Brown.
General manager Kevin Colbert says the Steelers won’t simply give him away. "By no means are we going to make a trade or any type of move that will not be beneficial to the Pittsburgh Steeler organization," he said in an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "We will not be discounting (Brown) on the trade market and we certainly will not be releasing (him)."
But if the Steelers can get a reasonable offer, Brown will be moved.
Brown is in the back half of his career; he’ll be 31 in July. But no doubt there will be some teams interested in his playmaking talents. He’s put up pinball numbers for years. Part of any deal will likely involve his new team also giving him a new contract.
This kind of move doesn’t happen often. In the last 25 years, only two wide receivers have put up top-5 numbers, then moved to a new team in the offseason. That’s assuming standard fantasy scoring. Muhsin Muhammad was the league’s No. 1 overall receiver in 2004 with the Panthers, then signed a free-agent deal with Chicago. Similarly, Yancey Thigpen was the league’s No. 5 receiver in 1997 (for the Steelers, oddly enough) and then signed with Tennessee.
Neither Muhammad nor Thigpen put up half as many fantasy points in their first season with their new team, but neither was anything close to Brown in ability. Brown was the league’s 3rd-most productive wide receiver last season and has been putting up great numbers for years.
In the last 25 years, 13 wide receivers have put up top-10 numbers, then gone to new teams the next year. Other than Muhammad and Thigpen, the other 11th all ranked between 7th and 10th in production. Of those 13, two were slightly better statistically the next year – Brandin Cooks last year and Vincent Jackson a few years back. The other 11 were all less productive.
|TOP-10 RECEIVERS SWITCHING TEAMS|
|Year||Player||Age||Old team||New team||Decline|
|1994||Anthony Miller||29||S.D. 84-1162-7||Den. 60-1107-5||10%|
|1998||Yancey Thigpen||29||Pitt. 79-1398-7||Ten. 38-493-3||63%|
|2003||Peerless Price||27||Buff. 94-1252-9||Atl. 64-838-3||43%|
|2004||Keenan McCardell||34||T.B. 84-1174-9||S.D. 31-393-1||73%|
|2005||Muhsin Muhammad||32||Car. 93-1405-16||Chi. 58-738-4||59%|
|2009||Terrell Owens||36||Dall. 69-1052-10||Buff. 55-829-6||26%|
|2010||Brandon Marshall||25||Den. 101-1120-10||Mia. 86-1014-3||32%|
|2012||Vincent Jackson||29||S.D. 60-1106-9||T.B. 72-1384-8||+11%|
|2014||Eric Decker||27||Den. 87-1288-11||NYJ 74-962-5||35%|
|2014||DeSean Jackson||28||Phil. 82-1332-9||Wash. 56-1169-6||18%|
|2015||Jeremy Maclin||27||Phil. 85-1318-10||K.C. 87-1088-8||18%|
|2017||Brandin Cooks||24||N.O. 78-1173-8||N.E. 65-1082-7||7%|
|2018||Brandin Cooks||25||N.E. 65-1082-7||LAR 80-1204-6||+4%|
|2019||• Antonio Brown||31||Pitt. 104-1297-15||TBD ?-?-?||?|