The drama is over. After a week of controversy, faulty reports, and speculation, we finally have an answer on where Antonio Brown is headed next.
In the early morning hours on Sunday, ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter reported that the Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders were in a verbal agreement regarding a trade for superstar wide receiver Antonio Brown. The Raiders will send a third and fifth-round pick in this year’s NFL Draft to the Steelers in order to acquire Brown. The deal cannot be processed until the NFL’s free agency period begins on March 13th.
The Raiders have also promised Brown a reworked contract, which was the biggest obstacle for the Steelers in trade negotiations. Brown, a six-time consectuive Pro Bowl wide receiver, will receive 3 years and $50.125 million from Oakland, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Heading into the 2019 season, exactly $0 of Brown’s original contract was guaranteed. Now, that number is $30.125 million. The new deal makes Brown, a.k.a “Mr. Big Chest,” the highest-paid wideout in the NFL.
Brown, disgruntled about his previous contract situation and desperately wanting a change of scenery, has been vocal about his desire for a trade from the Steelers since the start of the offseason. After a long, awkward period where there was no communication between Pittsburgh and Brown, he and Steelers president Art Rooney II had a “great meeting” in February where both sides decided that it was time to move on. Brown thanked Rooney and the Steelers organization in a Twitter post expressing his appreciation to the team that drafted him back in 2010.
Now, the fantasy of Brown in any other uniform than the black and gold of the Steelers has become a reality. At last, Derek Carr has a reliable weapon, arguably the best WR in the game that is still in his prime. Most importantly, Jon Gruden holds on to his three first-round selections in the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft, which takes place in April.
For now, Raider Nation shall rejoice and celebrations of Brown’s acquisition will continue throughout the offseason. However, it’s a bittersweet breakup for many Steelers fans that signals a new era is beginning Pittsburgh, one that does not include the city’s brightest star of the last near-decade.
Cole Topham is the lead editor for snacktimefantasy.com and covers the MLB and NFL. He enjoys watching his opponents suffer as he defeats them week after week in his fantasy football/baseball leagues.