One of the biggest stories in the NFL this offseason is the Antonio Brown saga: the Pittsburgh Steelers’ disgruntled wide receiver, who played second fiddle to JuJu Smith-Schuster last season, has publicly stated that he wants the team to trade him. And even though nothing is official yet, it appears as if a decision about Brown’s future will come soon — possibly as early as today when some recent reports can be believed.
On early Friday morning, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport turned the speculation to eleven when he reported that the Steelers are “closing in on a deal” that would send the 30-year old to the Buffalo Bills. No further details about the potential trade were announced just yet, but Rapoport added that some details still needed to be worked out and that Buffalo would be “on its way” to getting the seven-time Pro Bowler.
The news did not stop there, however. A couple hours later, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the two teams have indeed been involved in trade talks but that a move appeared to be either “unlikely” at this point in time or that it has been straight-up “dead since Wednesday.” Either way, the speculation will continue throughout the day — and there appears to be at least a chance that the Bills may be involved.
Of course, the level of said involvement seems to be open for debate. It could very well be that the Steelers leaked the destination in order to force Brown’s camp to advance talks about a possible contract negotiation and keeping the wideout in Pittsburgh. Or that the Bills leaked the “closing in on a deal” part in order to drive the price up for one of the other teams possibly competing for Brown’s services.
Whatever actually happened or will happen, the New England Patriots will probably just sit back and let everything play out. It seems unlikely, after all, that the reigning world champions are involved in any discussions about acquiring the star wideout. That being said, one member of the team appeared to comment on the rumors on Twitter. Ex-Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who joined the Patriots via free agency in 2017, reacted as follows:
— The Gilly Lock (@BumpNrunGilm0re) March 8, 2019