Antonio Brown Traded to Raiders
(Pittsburgh,Pa)The long-awaited trade of Antonio Brown finally happened as the disgruntled WR was sent by
the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Oakland Raiders in the wee-hours of Sunday Morning. In return,the Steelers will get a 2019 Third and Fifth Round pick, which wasn’t what the Steelers originallywanted, but after the Trade to the Buffalo Bills for a 1 st Round pick fell through, the Steelers probably were at a point where they wanted to get what they could for him.
Such a move puts an end to a Steelers career for Brown that started when he was a 2010 6 thRound draft pick out of Central Michigan. Not much was expected from him in his rookie year
as he was behind veterans Hines Ward, Mike Wallace, Antwan Randle-El and fellow rookieEmmanuel Sanders. But Brown made an impression on Special Teams and a key 57-yard 3-and- 19 reception vs. the Baltimore Ravens in the Divisional Round Playoff that season. He also
caught the key catch that sealed their trip to Super Bowl 45 that year.
But Brown’s coming out party came in 2011 as he earned a starting spot in which had 69 receptions for 1,108 yards and had over 1,000 yards returning, becoming the first player in NFL history to accomplish that feat. For his efforts, Brown was selected as a punt returner for the
2012 Pro Bowl.
On July 28, 2012, the Pittsburgh Steelers signed Brown to a five-year, $42.5
million extension that included an $8.5 million signing bonus. In 2013, Brown became the only receiver in NFL history to record five receptions and at least 50 yards in every single game of anNFL season.
From 2013-2018, Brown was easily the best receiver in the NFL as he averaged over 100receptions and 1,500 yards, which included a career-high league-high 136 receptions for 1,834
yards in 2015. In 2017, the Steelers rewarded Brown once more, with a four-year extension
worth $68 million ($19 million guaranteed at signing) with a $17 million annually, making Brown the highest paid wide receiver in the NFL.
But it was in 2017 and 2018 that friction between Brown and the Steelers occurred. Fromsideline outbursts with assistant coaches in which he threw a Gatorade cooler in disgust, toreported spats with QB Ben Roethlisberger, which included feeling called out by the Steelers QB
on his weekly his radio show. And then there was the Week 17 regular-season finale against
Cincinnati in which Brown not only didn’t play, but left Heinz Field as his team fought for aplayoff spot in which they were eventually eliminated, despite beating the Bengals. Steelers head
coach Mike Tomlin told his side of what happened, and eventually Brown told his side of the story.
Then came the non-returned calls to head coach Tomlin and owner Art Rooney II, and the
bashing on social media, his ESPN and HBO Sports TV interviews, which pointed toward
Brown’s potential exit out of Pittsburgh. Then came his February 12 th meeting with Rooney in
which Brown announced via Twitter that he wanted to be traded from the Steelers.
On Friday March 8 th , he was nearly traded to the Bills, but the deal fell though as Brownreportedly was unwilling to go to Buffalo, which led to the Bills killing the deal. Many felt like Brown’s antics was killing his trade value, but then came the announcement 24-hours later that Brown was shipped to the Raiders.
In addition to the trade, Brown also received a new three-year deal worth up to $54.125 million from the Raiders, with $30.125 million guaranteed. He previously had three years and $38.9million left on his contract with the Steelers, with none of the money guaranteed. Brown gets to
be a #1 WR again while getting the money that he wanted, but he’s going to a Raiders team that finished 4-12 and has Jon Gruden as head coach and Derek Carr at QB.
Meanwhile, the Steelers are not only stuck with a hole at WR, but also $21.1 million in dead cap money because of Brown’s departure. The good news is that they still have Pro Bowl WR JuJu
Smith-Shuster, and an opportunity to take advantage of a Draft that’s deep in WR talent & possibly Free Agency, but the expectation will be that 2 nd -year man James Washington will improve in 2019.
Brown got what he wanted, the Steelers did what they could to be rid of him. Time will tell who really won this trade.
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