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Jets have discussed Steelers WR Antonio Brown, but no pursuit imminent

Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown plays against the

Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown plays against the Chargers on Dec. 2, 2018, in Pittsburgh. Credit: AP/Don Wright

INDIANAPOLIS – The Jets want to add playmakers this offseason and one of the best is available. But the Jets apparently haven’t aggressively pursued Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown — at least not yet.

General manager Mike Maccagnan is doing his due diligence with some background research on Brown, the disgruntled star who wants out of Pittsburgh. But Maccagnan made it sound as if that’s all he’s done to this point.

“My policy is I pretty much call everybody at some point in time about every name that flies out there just to see,” Maccagnan said. “But I would say simply this: We haven’t really ventured that far into it yet. So, simply put at this point in time, we’re sort of evaluating the free -agency market, not the trade market, and we’ll see how that one unfolds.”

Maccagnan made it seem that there have been no substantive talks with the Steelers. But that could change because all the teams and executives are here at the Combine. Many discussions start now and parameters of deals are made this week.

"I don’t normally say who I’ve called or who I’ve talked to about that stuff,” Maccagnan said.

The Jets should be major players in free agency. They will have more than $100 million to spend and are expected to make a run at Brown’s teammate, running back LeVeon Bell, who also wants out of Pittsburgh after sitting out the 2018 season because of a contract dispute.

The Steelers said they will not tag Bell. He will be an unrestricted free agent, and likely will go to the highest bidder. For Brown, the Steelers want the most compensation they can get.

Pittsburgh GM Kevin Colbert said the trade market for Brown has grown, but added, “We will only make a trade if it benefits the Pittsburgh Steelers."

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