Early Friday morning, the Bills appeared to be on the cusp of acquiring Antonio Brown from the Steelers. But, for one reason or another, the deal was scuttled.
“We inquired on 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,” GM Brandon Beane said in a statement. “As great a player as Antonio Brown is, we have moved on and our focus is on free agency.”
Ultimately, the deal was 86’d because Brown made it clear that he did not want to go to Buffalo, Albert Breer of The MMQB (on Twitter) hears. Now, there are “very few options left” for the Steelers/Brown, according to a source who spoke with Breer.
The Steelers hoped to move Brown by the end of the business day, but they may have to extend their timeline. At varying points, the Redskins, Raiders, and Titans were thought to be on the leaderboard, but their level of interest is unclear. Meanwhile, it’s a bit of a time sensitive matter for the Steelers – Brown is due a $2.5MM roster bonus on March 17, so they’re hoping to unload him before that date hits. They’d also probably like to trade Brown before the start of free agency in order to have a clearer picture of their own needs and finances.
The Brown sweepstakes will roll on for at least a little while longer and it could drag for months if Brown is intent on hand-picking his destination.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.