Antonio Brown is one of the NFL’s best receivers. He currently holds the NFL record for most consecutive seasons with 100 receptions with six. His route running and hands are second to none in the NFL. The combination of him and Juju Smith-Schuster gives the Pittsburgh Steelers the best wide receiver duo in the NFL.
With James Conner and Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers possess one of the league’s most dynamic offenses, but Brown might not be staying in Pittsburgh next season. He missed the season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals because he was frustrated with his situation in Pittsburgh. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Brown missed practice because of his dispute with Roethlisberger. He has voiced his frustration with the Steelers’ organization on multiple occasions throughout the season.
Since the end of the season, Brown has hinted that he would like to play for the San Francisco 49ers as he had an Instagram post of himself with 49er legend Jerry Rice. He also responded to a tweet from All-Pro tight end George Kittle. While it seems like the talented wide receiver wants to take his talents elsewhere, Brown could still return to the Steelers for the 2019 NFL season.
According to Ian Rapoport, Brown has been talking to the organization and has not ruled out a return to the Steelers. “The Steelers are exploring trade options, but Brown hasn’t closed the door on returning,” Rapoport said. “He’s maintained a steady dialogue with some in the organization he’s close with to express that sentiment. Still, he should draft significant interest on the market.”
His trade value is extremely high as few teams in the league have a receiver with Brown’s talent and production. He is also 30 years old and caused a rift with the Steelers’ organization last season.
If Brown returns to the Steelers, he and Smith-Schuster should both top 1,000 receiving yards for the second consecutive season. Brown takes the pressure off Conner and Smith-Schuster so his departure would give them fewer one-on-one opportunities. The Steelers might not want to deal with another season of a headache like in 2018, but Brown is a future Hall of Famer and should be welcomed back to Pittsburgh if he wants to stay.