Antonio Brown's trade request earlier this week did not catch the Pittsburgh Steelers off guard.
Per Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers had already determined they were going to explore trade possibilities for their disgruntled wide receiver.
Brown's trade request came after he posted a cryptic message on Twitter, thanking Steelers fans for their support over the past nine seasons.
The saga involving the Steelers and Brown seemingly began leading up to a Week 17 game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Brown refused to practice following a dispute with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and was benched for the game, per Bouchette and Gerry Dulac.
Steelers president Art Rooney II told Dulac last month it would be "hard to envision" Brown returning to the team next season.