What's the link between the Lions and Brown, other than perhaps perceived desperation in Detroit? Don't count it out.
"All other options" could only conceivably mean a trade since Rooney also relayed to Gulac that he didn't foresee Brown sticking with the Steelers in the long term.
On Thursday, Steelers owner Art Rooney II ripped into Brown while speaking with The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and made it clear the team is willing to move on from the mercurial wide receiver if that is what needs to happen.
At this point, a trade seems likely. The wideout was listed on the injury report with knee soreness, but many have questioned his injury, and reports have said teammates felt he quit on them. Brown would certainly fit the bill.
In the meantime, teams in the market for a receiver averaging 1,524.2 yards and 11.2 touchdowns per season since 2013 should begin preparing their bids. Brown enters the third year of a five-year, $72.7 million extension signed before the 2017 season. The Steelers would save more than $15 million in real money in 2019, but they would owe $21.12 million in dead money against the cap, compared to Brown's $22.165 million cap hit if he remains on the roster. Rumors began swirling about a disagreement between the receiver and the team's franchise quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, after Pittsburgh decided to make Brown inactive against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Lions have the eighth overall selection in the 2019 draft. Brown recently unfollowed his current team on social media and started following the 49ers, several of its players, and liked 49ers-related content, especially content which pushed a Brown-to-San-Francisco message.
Pittsburgh can't trade him until March 13, meaning the Steelers have two months to smooth things over with the NFL's best receiver or else they might be forced to find a new home for him.