The biggest obstacle inis if they move the All-Pro wide receiver in any kind of deal. It doesn't matter how they handle it: if Brown is dealt, the Steelers will use somewhere between 8 and 10 percent of their cap space on a star receiver playing for someone else.
According to a report from Chris Mortensen of ESPN, that doesn't matter and the Steelers are willing to move Brown anyway. Asked about the situation on Sunday morning, Mortensen said the Steelers "will move him in a trade."
"The reason why it's a high -- I call it a high probability, and we have until March 13 new league year to see this come to fruition, he's due a $2.5 million roster bonus five days after that date," Mortensen explained. "The Steelers, certainly because of what happened this week but what's been festering behind the scenes even a couple of years beyond that, they will move him in a trade."
Asked about the cap hit situation, Mortensen explained the Steelers are willing to make a move and take the hit with Brown because of two things: the $14 million salary credit coming from Le'Veon Bell (assuming they don't use the transition tag on him) and the restructuring of Ben Roethlisberger's contract, which CBS Sports NFL Insider .
Ben redoing his deal, by the way, is definitely a shot towards Brown. Roethlisberger is in a win-win -- he gets more cash up front with a restructure, but he also gets the benefit of looking like a team player who is helping the club free up money so it can move on from Brown.
As for the festering of this over time,during meetings and during practice. Roethlisberger apparently went off on Brown publicly when the receiver ran the wrong route during practice, which led to the boiling point for the All-Pro wideout.
Once things kicked into high gear, Brown went AWOL -- not for the first time this season -- before Week 17 and ended up not being active for the Steelers in a must-win game against the Bengals. Pittsburgh would win anyway, but miss out on the playoffs because of the Ravens beating the Browns.
Mike Tomlin said he heard from Brown first when the receiver's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, reached out on that Sunday morning. Roethlisberger claimedleading up to the game.
"I called and texted and reached out numerous times and tried to find out what going on," Roethlisberger said, "but I really couldn't get any answers."
It's possible all the drama may have cost Brown a spot on the All-Pro team,because of Brown's decision to bail on his team in Week 17.
In the wake of the drama,with the Steelers, claiming this was something that was obviously coming at some point.
? Yes, it can. Committing $21 million to a player not on the roster is a hefty price, but the Steelers are financially capable of making a deal go through. If they can get multiple draft picks for Brown, the Steelers might think it's worth the massive financial hit in 2019 in order to get Brown out of the locker room and off the books moving forward.
This is going to be THE storyline for the next few months. If you're tired of the Brown drama now, just wait until early March.