Happy Friday and if you went to bed early Thursday night and are just now getting up, wide receiver Antonio Brown is still a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Late Thursday night it was reported by Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network that the Steelers were close to wrapping up a trade of Brown to the Buffalo Bills. Rapoport remained steadfast in his assertion that Brown to the Bills would eventually get done throughout the night and into early Friday morning. However, Bills general manager Brandon Beane released a statement Friday morning indicating that his team is now out of the Brown sweepstakes.
“We inquired about Antonio Brown on Tuesday, and kept talks open with the Steelers. We had positive discussions, but ultimately it didn’t make sense for either side. As great a player as Antonio Brown is, we have moved on and our focus is on free agency,” said Beane via a statement.
According to a few Friday morning reports, Brown is the one that nixed himself being dealt to Buffalo.
Steelers and Bills discussed a trade involving WR Antonio Brown, I'm told, but Brown was clear that he didn't want to go to Buffalo. Source said that there are "very few options left" for the Steelers/Brown.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 8, 2019
With Buffalo now seemingly out of the picture, along with several other teams, it will be interesting to see where the Steelers go from here. As I wrote a few days ago, any team that wants to trade for Brown will undoubtedly first ask the Steelers permission to talk to the wide receiver and his agent Drew Rosenhaus to find out if the player wants to play for them and what his financial demands are. Any team that trades for Brown without doing just that deserves what they get.
In essence, Brown somewhat controls which team he’s traded to and that probably doesn’t sit well with the Steelers. At this point, there can’t be many teams willing to trade for the wide receiver that the player would be willing to play for.
Brown is due a $2.5 million roster bonus on the fifth day of the new league year and unless a trade with another team gets worked out before then, the wide receiver might just wind up being stuck in Pittsburgh until at least the draft.