The Antonio Brown saga has finally come to an end: according to the man himself, the Oakland Raiders have acquired the disgruntled Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver on Saturday evening — ending one of the most tiresome and oft-reported storylines of the NFL’s 2019 offseason; one that started with Brown publicly demanding to get traded away from Pittsburgh in February.
Now, he got his wish as the Steelers are sending him to Oakland in exchange for two mid-level draft picks this year: the Raiders, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, will send a third (#66) and a fifth round pick (#141) to Pittsburgh. Furthermore, Brown’s new club reworked his contract to give him $19.8 million per season (via NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport) — an average value that is the highest in the NFL at the wide receiver position.
Brown is not only a costly investment on the Raiders’ part, however: by trading him away, the Steelers also have to take on a dead money number of $21.12 million onto their salary cap this season. That number alone is more than that of the NFL’s previously leading team in dead cap, the Arizona Cardinals who have $16.39 million of unused cap space.
For example, he New England Patriots’ projected starting offensive line heading into 2019 — Isaiah Wynn, Joe Thuney, David Andrews, Shaq Mason and Marcus Cannon — would hit the team’s payroll with a combined cap hit of “only” $23.05 million. While the comparison per se is not perfect, it still illustrates just how much a team could do with more than $20 million in cash. Alas, the Steelers used it to part ways with one of their best players.
C’est la vie.