Bills release statement officially declaring rumored Antonio Brown trade dead
Brown seemed to be headed to Buffalo but the Bills are officially out
The Buffalo Bills are not trading for Antonio Brown. The team itself released a statement to that effect Friday morning, with general manager Brandon Beane noting that "we have moved on and our focus is on free agency."
Reports late Friday night indicated that the Bills and Steelers were nearing a deal that would send Brown to Buffalo, but it was not long before emerged. Brown even took to Instagram to term a report that a deal was imminent "fake news." Within about an hour of the initial report that Brown was headed to Buffalo, it was being termed "unlikely" to happen.
Why did this deal ultimately fall through? CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reports that Brown simply was not willing to report to the Bills no matter what.
It had been assumed throughout this process that because Brown is under contract, he would not be able to control his destination (Steelers GM Kevin Colbert even said something to that effect recently), but that no longer appears to be the case. It's difficult to figure out what the market for Brown actually is right now, and/or to which teams he is willing to report. He's obviously an incredible player but the combination of his contract, the compensation necessary to acquire him, and all the things he has been saying in recent weeks make a deal more complicated than some teams feel it is worth.
And with suitors reportedly getting out of the game left and right, it'll be interesting to see if a deal actually comes to fruition at all, or if the Steelers and Brown have to eventually work out an arrangement that allows the star receiver to return to the fold.
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