Antonio Brown demanded a trade away from the Pittsburgh Steelers, and today it looked like the trade would go through and might bolster the Buffalo Bills roster.
However, after the news broke late last night that the Steelers and Bills would hash out the trade today, things fell apart.
Antonio Brown trade called off
While Antonio Brown demanded to be traded, the Pittsburgh Steelers need to get what they can for the disgruntled receiver. Brown can’t nix any trade, but he can make a team not want him.
After the news broke that the Steelers and Bills were planning the trade, Brown responded on Twitter that it was “Fake News.”
That was not really true, as it was real news but Brown sabotaged the plans. See, Brown said he wouldn’t play for anyone next year without a guaranteed contract, which meant that whoever traded for him would have to sign him to a new deal with all guarantees.
The Buffalo Bills seemed willing to do that, but if Brown refused the deal, he already said he wouldn’t play without guarantees and he might not play if he doesn’t like where he is traded.
This means that if Brown won’t sign a new deal with the Bills, and he won’t play without a new deal, Buffalo would get nothing in return for the trade.
“We inquired about Antonio Brown on Tuesday, and kept talks open with the Steelers,” Bills general manager Brandon Beane said in a statement Friday. “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.”
If Antonio Brown wants to sit out like LeVeon Bell did last year, he could force the Steelers to trade him for little in return.
Steelers and Bills had”positive” trade talks last night, but deal fell apart because Antonio Brown nixed going to Buffalo, per source.
— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) March 8, 2019
The entire relationship between Pittsburgh and Brown is about to get a lot worse.
Plus, if Brown is being this difficult now, why would any NFL team want to bring that into their locker room?
Buffalo Bills roster
The Buffalo Bills have a young quarterback in Josh Allen and they need to bring him some more weapons if they want him to take a positive step forward.
While Antonio Brown might not want to help improve the Buffalo Bills roster, there might be some other free agents out there who would.
Buffalo has $76 million in salary cap space and could have afforded those guarantees that Antonio Brown wanted. Now, they can offer them to someone else.
The top 2019 NFL free agents at wide receiver include names like Golden Tate, Robby Anderson, Dez Bryant, John Brown and Michael Crabtree.