Trade 'interest has grown' for Steelers' Antonio Brown, according to GM Kevin Colbert

Nate Davis

INDIANAPOLIS — The Antonio Brown situation remains unresolved, but Pittsburgh general manager Kevin Colbert said Wednesday at the NFL scouting combine that "interest has grown" as the team explores trade options for the disgruntled wide receiver. Colbert said last week that three teams had expressed interest in the perennial all-pro.

But Colbert reiterated his stance that AB won't wind up on the discount rack even though it seems his relationship with the team, and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger specifically, appears fractured.

"We are looking into the possibility of trading (Brown)," Colbert said. "What we've also acknowledged is we will only make a trade if it benefits the Pittsburgh Steelers. He knows that, his representation knows that, and it's been clearly explained. 

"If there's something that can be done to benefit both sides, great. If not, then we'll deal with that when we get to it."

MOCK DRAFT:First-round outlook before combine

COMBINE:Kyler Murray, N'Keal Harry among 9 players with something to prove

Brown met with team owner Art Rooney II last week and expressed on social media afterward that, "We both agreed  that it is time to move on but I’ll always have appreciation and gratitude towards the  Rooney family and @steelers organization!"

Colbert refused to admit the nine-year marriage is irreparable, saying players often "get emotional" and "hate to lose" but can typically move forward from hurt feelings.

Still, last week Colbert told NFL Network that three clubs had made preliminary inquiries about Brown, 30, a seven-time Pro Bowler. He didn't specify how many more have now entered the mix and would not even rule out a deal with an AFC North rival if the compensation meets Pittsburgh's bar.

"We haven't eliminated anybody," Colbert said of potential trade partners.

And, ultimately, he seemed to feel like a resolution that ends in divorce seems the likeliest outcome "one way or another."


Follow Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis