Given the events of the last week or so, Antonio Brown's future in Pittsburgh has come into question—and the oddsmakers are all over it.
According to OddsShark, the Steelers are the favorites for the Pro Bowl wideout's services in 2019, but there are a number of other teams in the running:
- Pittsburgh Steelers (-500)
- San Francisco 49ers (+275)
- Indianapolis Colts (+800)
- New York Jets (+800)
- Oakland Raiders (+1100)
Brown was inactive for a must-win game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, which Gerry Dulac and Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported was the result of a "dispute" with a teammate during a walkthrough last week. NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala later identified quarterback Ben Roethlisberger as the unidentified teammate.
The Steelers defeated a depleted Bengals squad on a late field goal 16-13 but were eliminated from postseason contention after the Baltimore Ravens and the Indianapolis Colts each pulled out victories in Week 17.
And it hasn't been a smooth start to the offseason in Pittsburgh, as CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora reported Tuesday that Brown has requested a trade. However, coach Mike Tomlin has denied, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette, that a formal trade request has been made.
That hasn't stopped the speculation, though, especially since Brown has been on social media in recent days.
Amid all of the reports, San Francisco tight end George Kittle gave Brown a shout:
And Brown responded:
He also started following the 49ers on Instagram recently.
Meanwhile, Brown has also interacted with Cleveland Browns receiver Jarvis Landry:
The latest drama may have the Steelers looking to move on from Brown, but his contract could pose a problem. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero pointed out Pittsburgh would have to sit on more than $21 million in dead cap space if it traded Brown—but it would create financial flexibility in the future:
Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero
There are plenty of reasons for the #Steelers not to trade Antonio Brown -- namely, he's really, really good at football -- but "cap hit" talk is misinformed. It's basically a wash for 2019 and they'd gain flexibility in 2020-21. How you replace him is the issue. https://t.co/6FucNjhfgP
According to Spotrac, the Colts ($121.6 million) and the Jets ($104.5 million) will have the most cap space in the league this offseason. The Raiders come in at fifth with $71.4 million in cap space.