"We don't have to make those decisions right now".
Pittsburgh Steelers team president Art Rooney sent the strongest message since the end of the season that trading wide receiver Antonio Brown is a realistic possibility.
The report comes from Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, who tweeted out the following on Thursday afternoon.
Brown has not returned phone calls from the team - including Rooney, head coach Mike Tomlin and others who have reached out. The Pro Bowl receiver reportedly asked for but did not demand a trade after the incident, but he carries a $21.25 million cap hit for next season, so he likely would be hard to move despite his huge talent. That, of course, means the two sides could always make up and get back together, but it also means the Steelers could actually trade Brown.
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Shortly after Rooney's comments went viral on Twitter, Brown posted a photo of himself with the Steelers owner along with the caption "Good Business". The Steelers would be on the hook for $21.1 million in dead money if they were to move Brown. Whether Brown possibly could come back remains a big hurdle if Rooney's words are to be believed.
The high odds on Atlanta seem a little bit surprising given that the Falcons have Pro Bowl wide receiver Julio Jones as well as two proven weapons with Mohamed Sanu and Calvin Ridley.
"That has to be taken into consideration, but, as I sit here today, I'm not going to say that's going to box us into anything", Rooney said of the potential salary-cap consequences.
Adding numbers alone won't solve the problems the Steelers had past year, but the fact Tomlin's considering structural changes is a sign that he realizes he needs to adapt himself.