As trade rumors continue to swirl around Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Bowl wide receiver Antonio Brown, San Francisco 49ers legend Jerry Rice suggests that the 30-year-old has a desire to come to the west coast.
"He wants to come here really bad," Rice said on 95.7 The Game, adding that he talked to Brown on Sunday.
Last week, team president Art Rooney II acknowledged it was unlikely that Brown would be playing for the Steelers in 2019. Rooney did add that the Steelers wouldn't release Brown, but he wouldn't reject the idea of the organization trading him, either.
Brown seemed to show interest of joining the 49ers when he got into a fun tweeting game with tight end George Kittle and cornerback Richard Sherman.
The 49ers have the cap space and incentives to pursue a Brown trade. With Kittle, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and running back Matt Breida in the fold, San Francisco has plenty of big-time pieces on offense. Adding Brown would only make this unit that much better, and it would certainly help the 49ers' chances of getting back to the playoffs next year.
The Brown trade rumors started up when he was absent for the team's Week 17 contest against the Cincinnati Bengals. It was reported by Ed Bouchette and Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Brown got into an argument with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during practice, which resulted in Brown throwing a football in the direction of his teammate.
Brown then failed to return phone calls and messages from his teammates, and the decision was made by head coach Mike Tomlin to bench his star receiver. Pittsburgh won the game anyway, but they failed to reach the postseason in what was a dismal finish to a promising season.
What This Means
All signs point to the Steelers trading Brown, but the only question is where he'll land. The 49ers seem like his preferred destination, but it could depend entirely on what they're willing to offer for Brown in a trade.