Nevermind. Late Thursday night, the Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers appeared to be in the final stages of an agreement that would send seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Antonio Brown to Buffalo. Friday morning, that trade possibility was dead.
And it may have been dead even before it appeared to be a foregone conclusion.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted early Friday morning “Buffalo has spoken to Pittsburgh about a potential trade for WR Antonio Brown, as have a handful of other teams. Those talks occurred only in recent days. A source this morning called a Brown-to-Buffalo trade “unlikely.” Not out of the question but, at this time, ‘unlikely.’”
He then added, “Another source on a potential Antonio Brown-to-Buffalo trade said it will not happen. I don’t think the Bills trade was ever close to happening,’ said one source involved in those talks. Steelers and Bills briefly talked but ‘this is an old story. It was dead on Wednesday.’”
Schefter continued, writing another tweet explaining, “As talks continue on a potential Antonio Brown trade, and the situation continues to be fluid, ‘nothing is close’ at this time, per a source. The Brown saga goes on. The Steelers has told teams that they expected, and wanted, this in place by Friday. That now looks challenging.”
Schefter then quoted Buffalo GM Brandon Beane, who said of the trade, “We inquired about Antonio Brown on Tuesday, and kept talks open with the Steelers. We had positive discussions, but ultimately it didn’t make sense for either side. As great a player as Antonio Brown is, we have moved on and our focus is on free agency.”
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, who reported the seemingly imminent trade on Thursday night, added Friday morning, “Update from the #Bills on the Antonio Brown: After intense talks that went into last night, and almost getting there on trade compensation, Buffalo says they are out. The #Steelers now must find another suitor.”
Rapoport the continued, speaking on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football, “The #Bills neared a trade last night for WR Antonio Brown, who would not commit to showing up in Buffalo. The organization did speak with agent Drew Rosenhaus. This morning, Buffalo says they are out, amid uncertainty. Steelers are square one again.”
He then added that the Green Bay Packers, who were thought to be among the possible landing places for Brown, were never involved in the trade talks, “Some wondered about the #Packers. They were never in it. Many teams are out. Where, exactly, does this go?”
And suddenly, a trade that seemed done no longer exists and the Steelers are up against their self-imposed trade deadline for Brown with no where to send the disgruntled receiver.