Antonio Brown Trade Collapses for Buffalo Bills, Pittsburgh Steelers


BUFFALO (WGR 550) -- Late Thursday evening, NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reported that the Pittsburgh Steelers were closing in on a trade to send All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown to the Buffalo Bills.

Hours later on Friday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the trade would not happen, and cited a source saying the trade was never close.

The Bills later released the same statement from Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane on the matter saying the teams had engaged in trade discussions, but ultimately "it didn't make sense for either side."

Our own Sal Capaccio confirmed that the Bills and Steelers began engaging in trade discussions earlier this week, and that things moved fast and talks were positive. 

Multiple reports have come out that any chance of a trade between the Bills and Steelers fell apart when Brown would not commit to joining the Bills. 

Schefter reported on Wednesday that the Steelers were telling teams around the NFL that a Brown trade was expected to be in place by Friday. Albert Breer from Sports Illustrated reports that there are "very few options left" for the Steelers regarding a trade partner for Brown.

Brown has spent the first nine seasons of his NFL career with the Steelers, amassing 837 receptions for 11,207 yards and 74 touchdowns. The 30-year-old has been selected to seven Pro Bowls, and was selected as a First-Team All-Pro four times from 2014-2017. He also led the NFL in receiving yards in both 2014 and 2017, while also leading the league in receptions in 2014 and 2015.

Last season, Brown caught 104 passes for 1,297 yards and a league-high 15 receiving touchdowns.

Before the 2017 season, Brown signed a five-year contract extension with the Steelers through the 2021 season with an opt-out option after the 2020 season. That contract made him the highest paid receiver in the league with an annual cap hit of $17 million. According to Spotrac, his cap hit for the 2019 season is set to be at $22.165 million.

The Bills currently have $75,926,583 of cap space, according to the NFLPA, which is one of the largest amounts of cap space in the league.

Brown was a former sixth round pick (195th overall) of the Steelers back in the 2010 NFL Draft out of Central Michigan.