The drama surrounding wide out Antonio Brown is finally over, as the team early Sunday morning moved the unhappy wide out to the Oakland Raiders for a 2019 third-round pick and a 2019 fifth-round pick.
The move ends one of, if not the oddest saga in Steelers history, one that started the week of the final game of the regular season when Brown said he was injured, was sat for the final game against the Bengals, and then Brown came out and said he no longer wanted to play in Pittsburgh.
It’s a sad end to a situation that just could not get worked out between the two sides, as the Steelers didn’t have to do anything in the end with Brown, but with so much bad blood on both sides, there really was no other choice than to trade the former sixth-round pick who became the best wide out in the game.
As Adam Schefter of ESPN reports, Brown and agent Drew Rosenhaus more or less put the deal to Oakland together, as the Steelers appeared to have something in place for Brown late Thursday, early Friday sending him to the Bills, but Brown said he would not report to Buffalo.
Brown tweeted a picture of himself wearing Oakland’s Silver and Black late Saturday night and issued a second post of himself and Raiders quarterback Derek Carr when they were teammates on the AFC Pro Bowl squad.
The Raiders, as expected, also will make Brown the highest paid wide out in the game, giving him a reworked contract that covers three years and pays $50.1 million (with a maximum value of $54.1 million) with $30.1 million of it guaranteed.
With Brown gone, the Steelers wide out game now belongs to last year Team MVP Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster, who last season proved his worth in his second season with 111 catches and 1,426 yards.
What the Steelers will have to make up for is Brown’s 104 catches 1,297 yards, and you can bet the team is going to not only put more pressure on the likes of James Washington to step up, but also will look at the free agent market and the draft to see if a player can somehow, someway pick up the slack.