Coach Jon Gruden doesn't plan to play Brown during the preseason, Vic Tafur of The Athletic reports. Gruden may have just set a league record for the earliest a coach has ever commented on his plans for August exhibition games. It's a non-concern in terms of team chemistry, as Brown has plenty of time to build a rapport with Derek Carr throughout the offseason program and training camp. The veteran wideout seems to be headed for massive volume in an Oakland offense that lacks a proven pass catcher at tight end or a clear choice for the No. 3 receiver job. Carr will rely on Brown and fellow offseason addition Tyrell Williams, along with running backs Jalen Richard and Josh Jacobs.
As of Thursday, Brown has worked out with Derek Carr for three consecutive days, Matt Schneidman of The San Jose Mercury News reports. Since the new league year started Wednesday, the trade of Brown from Pittsburgh to Oakland became official, and with it a restructured three-year contract for the four-time first-team All-Pro. He hasn't wasted any time building up his rapport with Carr, who is exchanging the likes of Jordy Nelson (released Thursday) and Jared Cook for Brown and Tyrell Williams (signed Wednesday). Brown has received at least 150 targets in six consecutive campaigns, a span in which he's averaged 119 catches (on 178 targets) for 1,590 yards and 12 touchdowns per 16 games played.
The Raiders have an agreement in place to acquire Brown from the Steelers in exchange for a 2019 third-round pick and 2019 fifth-round pick, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. Brown revealed the news via Twitter as he posted a picture of himself in a Raiders uniform shortly before the news broke. The 30-year-old and Oakland are apparently agreeing to a re-worked contract that would make him the highest-paid wide receiver in the league. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Brown will receive $50.125 million over three years in the new deal, including over $30 million guaranteed. The All-Pro wideout's previous contract with the Steelers ran through the 2021 season, but contained no remaining guaranteed money.
Bills general manager Brandon Beane said he won't trade for Brown and has moved on to focus on free agency. Beane admits he had discussions with the Steelers on Tuesday, but he seems to have given up on the idea of a trade -- possibly because of concerns Brown wouldn't agree to play for Buffalo. A report earlier this week suggested the Steelers expect to complete a deal by Friday, though the more sensible deadline would be March 17 when the 30-year-old wideout is due a $2.5 million roster bonus. The list of remaining suitors presumably includes Oakland and Tennessee, with a few other teams also involved.
While Ian Rapoport of NFL Network stated late Thursday that the Bills are close to acquiring Brown from the Steelers, the player is calling it "fake news" and another league source is calling the deal unlikely, The Buffalo News reports. The Steelers would seem to have a lot more say in Brown's final destination than the disgruntled player, so we'll still give Rapoport -- always a reliable source -- credence while acknowledging there's no completed deal yet. We'll know more as soon as Friday, while we'll note the Bills have all kinds of cap room and need an offensive stud perhaps more than any team in the league. At bare minimum, it's become clear the Steelers' initial high price for Brown has come down and Bills general manager Brandon Beane is highly interested, especially if he can acquire a player of Brown's caliber for less than face value.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/15||Kansas City Chiefs||21||22.67|
|7||10/20||@Green Bay Packers||26||24.75|
|10||11/08||Los Angeles Chargers||7||18.44|
|12||11/24||@New York Jets||32||27.38|
|13||12/01||@Kansas City Chiefs||21||22.67|
|16||12/22||@Los Angeles Chargers||7||18.44|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||162||104||1371||12||66||13.18||209|