Steelers’ reported talks to send Antonio Brown to Bills don’t pan out
The Pittsburgh Steelers won’t be shuffling wide receiver Antonio Brown off to Buffalo after all .
After the NFL Network reported late Thursday night that the Steelers were “closing in” on a deal that would send Brown to the Buffalo Bills, talks were broken off Friday when the 30-year-old receiver reportedly objected to his trade destination.
From @gmfb: The #Bills neared a trade last night for WR Antonio Brown, who would not commit to showing up in Buffalo. The organization did speak with agent Drew Rosenhaus. This morning, Buffalo says they are out, amid uncertainty. Steelers are square one again. pic.twitter.com/d4suLfaVWP
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 8, 2019
Bills general manager Brandon Beane told ESPN that his team no longer is in the running for Brown.
“We inquired about Antonio Brown on Tuesday and kept talks open with the Steelers,” Beane said. “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 in on free agency.”
Bills’ GM Brandon Beane: “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.”
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 8, 2019
One hangup reportedly was that Brown had no interest in playing in Buffalo. Brown said in an ESPN interview last weekend indicated that he would sit out if he didn’t like his trade destination.
“They’re gonna play by my rules,” Brown said. “If not, I don’t need to play.”
No trades officially can be made until Wednesday when the next NFL calendar begins.
Brown had labeled the original NFL Network report “fake news” in a since-deleted comment on Instagram.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 8, 2019
The Oakland Raiders, Washington Redskins and Tennessee Titans previously were identified in national reports as teams having the most interest in Brown.
Brown requested a trade last month, and the Steelers agreed to try to accommodate him after team president Art Rooney II met with Brown in Florida. Brown’s future with the organization was tenuous after he was declared inactive for the season finale against Cincinnati after he skipped a walkthrough and missed several practices.
On social media, Brown has lobbied for his new team to give him a guaranteed contract. Brown has three years and about $39 million remaining on his current deal. The Steelers are hoping to deal Brown by March 17 when he is owed a $2.5 million bonus.
Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .