Photo: Charles LeClaire - USA TODAY Sports

Bills inquired about an Antonio Brown trade, but have moved on

Bills general manager Brandon Beane issued a statement, saying that he did engage in trade talks with the Steelers

March 08, 2019 - 12:47 am

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 obtained a statement from Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane saying that both teams had engaged in trade discussions, but ultimately "it didn't make sense for either side."

The Bills have also released the same statement from Beane on the matter:

Our own Sal Capaccio confirms that the Bills and Steelers began engaging in trade discussions earlier this week, and that things moved fast and talks were positive. However, things just didn’t work out between the two clubs.

Multiple reports have come out that despite the positive talks, any chance of a trade between the Bills and Steelers fell apart when Brown would not commit to joining the Bills. CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora was the first to report on the matter.

Schefter reported on Wednesday that the Steelers were telling teams around the National Football League that a Brown trade was expected to be in place on Friday. However, Albert Breer from Sports Illustrated's Monday Morning Quarterback reports that there are "very few options left" for both the Steelers and Brown for a trade partner.

Brown has spent the first nine seasons of his NFL career all with the Steelers, amassing 837 receptions for 11,207 yards and 74 touchdowns. In his Steelers career, 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.

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