The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport downloaded the combine to Twitter this morning revealing quite the juicy morsel. The Denver Broncos are among three major contenders in a trade for Pittsburgh Steelers’ star wide receiver Antonio Brown.
One takeaway from Combine week in Indy: The #Steelers have enough interest in WR Antonio Brown to be able to trade him before March 17, sources say. The #Raiders, #Broncos, and #AZCardinals are among the teams who have appeared the most intrigued.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 4, 2019
Now, Rapoport, like all of us is occasionally incorrect. However, if Denver is actually an interested party it likely signals the end of Emmanuel Sanders tenure with the Broncos. It is also in direct contrast to KUSA-TV’s Mike Klis report six days ago. Klis tweeted that Brown was not on Denver’s radar.
Last week, Elway pointed out that Denver would be exercising the options on both Derek Wolfe and Sanders during his 2019 NFL Scouting Combine press conference.
“We’d love to have him back 100 percent because I think he’s a great football player,” Elway said. “He’s a great competitor and wants to win. So I’d hope for him to be 100 percent. But the bottom line is, nobody really knows. That’s the hard part when you’re paying a guy $10.25 million and he’s coming off an Achilles as a wide receiver, that’s always a little bit tough. So I don’t know. I hope that he comes back 100 percent.”
What was unsaid by Elway during the press conference is that the option on Sanders is a $1.5MM workout bonus. Denver maintains the ability to cut Sanders at a later date with minimal salary cap implications, saving them $8.6MM.
Sanders is the only veteran receiver in a room that will feature sophomore wide receivers Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton. This week Denver revealed that they would not be placing tender on wide receiver Jordan Taylor. Tim Patrick remains a possibility for an ERFA tender.
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If you would prefer not to see a trade, Mike Klis was quick to refute Rapoport’s reports as he often does.
At start of combine, I got emphatic 'NO' when I asked source close to Elway if Broncos interested in Antonio Brown. I just circled back and was told by same source close to Elway the Broncos are NOT - and have not been - involved in Antonio Brown. Not worth the price. #9sports https://t.co/NU5lMP1anI— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) March 4, 2019