Days after Brown posted a picture of himself with Steelers owner Art Rooney II and said it's "time to move on," the team's own general manager confirmed on NFL Network that Pittsburgh has begun fielding phone calls about a trade for A.B.
Appearing Friday on "Up to the Minute Live," Kevin Colbert certainly didn't suggest the Steelers will surrender Brown at a cheap price, saying "you better have compensation that justifies" trading "one of the best football players" in the NFL. But he also chose not to confirm whether the Steelers are demanding at least a first-round draft pick in exchange for the seven-time Pro Bowler, hinting that the team is already listening to potential trade partners.
"We've had, I'd say, three teams that have touched base with us and we'll see how that grows," he said. "I think that'll unfold over these next few weeks as teams get better perspective of what else there is available to them."
In other words, the Steelers seem OK granting Brown's request to find a new home.
Colbert did note, however, either as a negotiating tactic or out of genuine appreciation for Brown, that the Steelers will not trade their receiver just to trade him.
"Again, if it doesn't benefit us, we won't do it," he said. "And that's as simple as it gets. And that was explained to Antonio and to Drew Rosenhaus, his representative, in a very respectful way. They understand our thinking. If we can accomplish something that happens to benefit both sides, great. But if it doesn't benefit us, it won't happen."