Late last night, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the Buffalo Bills were nearing a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers to acquire superstar wide receiever Antonio Brown.
Brown immediately called the trade fake news and we would later learn that Brown himself killed the trade by refusing to play for the Bills.
According to Albert Breer of TheMMQB, the Bills weren’t willing to convince Brown to play for them.
How the Bills’ talks went down help to illustrate that. Buffalo first inquired about Brown on Tuesday, and talks went in a positive direction between the two teams from there. Positive enough, in fact, that the Bills got permission to discuss the deal with Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus.
By early Friday morning, things had come undone. How? Two things had to come together for a deal to be done: the trade comp had to be agreed to—and I’m told the sides were in the ballpark on that—and the team acquiring the player has to make sure everything’s right with the player (a process that would eventually, for example, include a physical), and it wasn’t.
The Bills could have offered Brown more than Odell Beckham Jr. is getting in New York, as the NFL’s most richly compensated receiver, and maybe that would’ve convinced Brown to play there. They didn’t offer that, and the deal is now dead.
Brown sure isn’t making it easy for the Steelers to trade him.