The same franchise that balked at paying arguably the best defensive player on the planet just traded for the player who might be the game’s best receiver. That is sooo Jon Gruden.
NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport and ESPN’s Adam Schefter have reported on the Steelers and Raiders coming to an agreement on a deal that will send All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown out west in exchange for picks in the third and fifth rounds of the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft. The trade won’t go in the books until the new league year begins on Wednesday, but the paramaters of the deal appear to be agreed upon. Our long national nightmare is over … and the end result didn’t have Brown landing in Green Bay or elsewhere in the NFC North. Hooray!
And if you can’t wait to see what Brown looks like wearing silver and black, then look no further:
— AB (@AB84) March 10, 2019
The Bears will get their first look at Brown as a Raider this coming season when the two teams square off in London. Brown racked up 10 catches for 110 yards and a touchdown as a member of the Steelers in 2017, but the Bears won that game because Chicago had one indefensible play Pittsburgh couldn’t stop. That happened to be the last (first … and only) game Mike Glennon ever won as a starting quarterback for the Bears. And what a ride it was!
As for the inner-workings of this trade, it’s a tough look for the Steelers. Pittsburgh netted just two middle-round picks for a generational talent who is a seven-time Pro Bowler and four-time first-team All-Pro, which seems awfully light for a player with Brown’s skills. Brown is a dynamic play-maker whose presence on the field can provide a game-changing play at a moment’s notice, and will have defensive coordinators in the AFC West losing sleep while game-planning to stop him. Good luck with that, Chiefs/Broncos/Chargers.
On the other end of the line, the Raiders appear to have made out like bandits. The Raiders took advantage of a messy public breakup in Pittsburgh (coupled with a rumored Bills trade that fell through) to snag a receiver who led the NFL in touchdowns last year for picks in the third and fifth round. It isn’t a stretch to say this is a huge get for the Raiders, especially after trading away a pair of home-grown stars in Khalil Mack (thanks again, Gruden!) and Amari Cooper in 2018. And while I’m hesitant to declare winners and losers in the immediate aftermath of a trade, I can see where the Raiders come out looking triumphant and and how the Steelers will be viewed as coming up with the short straw.
The big winner in all of this is clearly Brown:
Raiders are adding money to Antonio Brown’s deal: He now will have three years worth $50.125 million – with incentives to go to $54.125 million, per source.
Where there was no guaranteed money there’s now $30.125 million guaranteed, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 10, 2019
This really is wild. Antonio Brown skipped work, disparaged the Steelers publicly, said he wouldn't play on a contract with three years left, then got a raise of almost $20 million with $30-plus million in new guarantees on his way to a new team. Savage power play.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) March 10, 2019
Business is certainly boomin’ for Brown now that his wish to be dealt has been granted.