2. Brown’s contract is not terrible for trading team
Make no mistake about it — if the Steelers want to trade Brown, they are going to take on a pretty significant financial burden.
Brown just re-structured his contract in 2017 and with the way the Steelers spread out his guarantees, there’s no way they can escape a high dead cap number over the next three years by trading him unless there is some way to do so we don’t know about.
According to both Spotrac and Over The Cap resources, the Steelers would be better off trading Brown after June 1, which is certainly not ideal for a trading team like the Broncos. It’s also not ideal for Brown in terms of getting acclimated to a new city and a new group of teammates, but perhaps the Steelers will stick it to him a little bit after the way he walked away from the team before the final game of the season.
Whether a team trades for him before or after June 1 is irrelevant to the trading team financially, however, which would absorb only Brown’s base salary.
Over the next three years, that number doesn’t even reach $13 million. That is less on average per year than Demaryius Thomas ($14 million). There are more than a dozen receivers in the NFL making more than $13 million on an annual basis.
The Broncos are armed with at least $40 million in cap space going into the offseason according to available cap resources, and that is without making any other moves or restructuring any other deals.
For an elite wide receiver, Brown’s contract is more than affordable. For arguably the best receiver in the league, the financial investment is laughably low.