Antonio Brown will reportedly account between 8 and 10% of the Steelers cap space next year if he's traded.
Antonio Brown's tenure with the Steelers coming to an end is a "high probability" despite Pittsburgh facing a potentially hefty cap hit, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen.
"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 said, per CBS Sports. "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."
The Steelers will face a $21 million cap hit if they trade Brown this offseason. The move could exhaust between 8 and 10% of Pittsburgh's available cap space.
On Sunday, it was first reported that Pittsburgh was expected to consider trade offers for Brown ahead of the free-agency period. The news surfaced following reports that Brown's absence in the Steelers' season-finale against the Bengals stemmed from a dispute with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger leading up to the game. Per Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer, JuJu Smith-Schuster being voted as Pittsburgh's team MVP may have contributed to Brown's reported practice blowout.
Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin denied recent reports alleging that Brown had requested a trade from the club.
Brown, a four-time All-Pro, caught 104 passes for 1,297 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2018. The seven-time Pro Bowler has spent each of his first nine seasons with Pittsburgh. Brown is currently second all-time in leading Steeler in receptions (837), yards (11,207) and touchdowns (74).