Brown’s breakup with Buffalo: What stopped Steelers from shipping star receiver to Bills

Posted at 11:52 PM, Mar 07, 2019

Wide receiver Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images )

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – From Big Ben to Buffalo – that was the report. Turns out, the story didn’t fit the ‘Bill’.

Late Thursday night, Antonio Brown, who demanded to be dealt away from the Pittsburgh Steelers, was reportedly on the verge of being traded to the Buffalo Bills. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport was the first to report the news.

However, early Friday Morning, Bills Insider Vic Carucci reported no deal was imminent. Later, ESPN’s Adam Schefter & CBS NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported similar angles.

Finally, Bills General Manager Brandon Beane confirmed the trade was dead – saying it “ultimately did not make sense” for either team. According to Rapoport, Brown would not commit to playing for Buffalo.

Last month, Brown tweeted a goodbye to “SteelerNation,” saying it was “time to move on and forward” during a one minute video.

According to CBS NFL Insider Jason La Canfora, a major factor in Brown’s desire to leave is due to issues with head coach Mike Tomlin and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Should he be shipped to Buffalo, Brown would be paired with second-year QB Josh Allen, who was the NFL’s least-accurate quarterback last season.

Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

According to La Canfora, “The tension between Brown and Roethlisberger boiled over in Week 17 when the two players got into a heated dispute before a practice. The dispute was so serious that it caused Brown to skip practice for the rest of the week and to sit out the team’s season finale against the Bengals. Although Roethlisberger downplayed the incident, he did admit that Brown won’t return his calls or texts.”

In 2017, Pittsburgh made Brown the highest paid receiver in the NFL at the time when he signed a five-year contract close to $73 million. The 30 year-old can’t officially be traded until March 13th, the first day of the 2019 season.

In the 2018 season, Brown caught 104 passes for 1,297 yards, and a league best 15 touchdown catches. He was left off the First Team All-Pro list for the first time since 2013.