Buffalo Bills fans endured a roller coaster ride late Thursday night into Friday morning when the Internet—specifically Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network—reported that talented Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown was being traded to the Buffalo Bills.
While it is true that Brown, one of the best and most dynamic wide receivers in the league, would have been an automatic upgrade for Buffalo’s talent-depleted receivers corps, it turns out the trade rumors also were too good to be true.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that yes, Buffalo general manager Brandon Beane and the Bills did reach out to the Steelers about a trade for Brown. While Beane said they had “positive discussions,” “ultimately it didn’t make sense for either side” to move ahead with a deal.
Even if the teams were able to reach an agreement on a deal, there was one party that wanted nothing to do with the trade: Brown himself.
Albert Breer with The MMQB tweeted that Brown was displeased with the idea of taking his talents to Buffalo and made it very clear that he would not go along with a trade to the Bills.
Steelers and Bills discussed a trade involving WR Antonio Brown, I'm told, but Brown was clear that he didn't want to go to Buffalo. Source said that there are "very few options left" for the Steelers/Brown.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 8, 2019
Breer wasn’t the only member of the media to report Brown’s unwillingness to accept a trade to the Bills. Sources were even saying Brown would never suit up in a Bills uniform.
Regardless of whether or not a deal was ‘close’ between the Steelers and #Bills, a source told me that AB told people around him he wouldn’t suit up in Buffalo.— Dan Fetes (@danfetes) March 8, 2019
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
So it seems that both Buffalo and Pittsburgh were on board, but Brown wasn’t, further limiting the Steelers’ options going forward.