Apparently, the rumblings that the Pittsburgh Steelers weren’t interested in sending star wide receiver Antonio Brown to the New England Patriots were very true. At least, according to the most recent report on the newest member of the Oakland Raiders. Just days after the Raiders struck a deal for the All-Pro pass-catcher, news came to light that they weren’t the team who made the best offer to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Raiders landed Brown for third and fifth-round selections, which seemed to be a small haul for the talented wideout. And according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Patriots reportedly offered second and fourth-round picks for Brown, via Sideline Sources.
This can’t be considered overly surprising, and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported before the deal that the Steelers would not move him within the division or to the Patriots. There were later talks that Pittsburgh would weigh all offers on the table, but assuming Rapoport’s reported offer stands true, it seems the Steelers cared far more about keeping Brown from New England.
Antonio Brown Trade to Raiders, New Contract
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport confirmed the terms of the deal while pointing out that Brown’s new contract with the Raiders makes him the highest-paid receiver in the NFL. The reported increase in base pay came from Pro Football Talk, who cited that his salary jumps from $38.925 million to $50.125 million over the next three seasons.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter tacked on the incentive aspect of the new deal with the Raiders, along with a massive amount of new guaranteed money. While Brown’s deal didn’t have any guaranteed money remaining, Oakland gave him $30.125 million in guarantees and incentives worth up to $4 million over the next three years.
The Raiders have an obvious need for a clear-cut No. 1 wide receiver after trading Amari Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys last season. The trade makes plenty of sense for them, but it’s still interesting to hear that the Patriots offer for Brown was a fair amount better.
Patriots’ Need at Wide Receiver
While the Patriots still have Julian Edelman, they’re facing tough calls on the likes of Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, Cordarrelle Patterson and an even more interesting spot with Josh Gordon. While Gordon’s status and suspension remain a question mark, New England’s need at the position is apparent.
Although the answer won’t come in the form of Brown, there are some intriguing fits on the free-agent mark, and the potential to bring back one or two of the above names could be on the table. Beyond that, the 2019 NFL Draft features a few names to monitor, although it’s unknown if the Patriots would use an early-round pick on a wide receiver.