"No, I don’t want AB traded," Smith-Schuster replied to a fan question in a video on his YouTube channel. "He makes me better. He makes the team better. He's awesome. He's a great dude."
Brown's been the subject of controversy since reportedly skipping practices ahead of the team's must-win season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals - in which he didn't play - following a dispute with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
"For myself, I learn a lot from him - just playing with him," Smith-Schuster added of Brown. "If I want to increase my game to be the best, I gotta compete against him. So, I do not want him traded."
Steelers president Art Rooney II said last week the team won't release Brown, but that "all other options are on the table."
The 22-year-old Smith-Schuster caught 111 passes for 1,426 yards - both team highs - and seven touchdowns in 2018, just his second NFL season. The No. 62 pick of the 2017 draft was also voted the team's MVP for 2018, which reportedly angered Brown, a four-time All-Pro and seven-time Pro Bowler.
Smith-Schuster was then named to the upcoming Pro Bowl as an injury replacement for Brown.
Brown is due to have a cap hit of more than $22 million in 2019. Releasing or trading him would cost the team over $21 million in dead cap space, although the figure would drop to $7 million with a post-June 1 designation. The receiver will turn 31 ahead of next season and is coming off a 2018 campaign in which he led the league with 15 receiving touchdowns in 15 games.
- With h/t to TribLive.com