The Oakland Raiders agreed on a deal on Saturday evening to obtain the prolific but disgruntled receiver Antonio Brown from the Pittsburgh Steelers and will give him the profitable new contract he wanted. Sources say the Raiders will give Brown a new 3-year contract worth $50.1m alternatively of the $38.9m, he was owed by Pittsburgh. Pro Football Speak initial reported the deal and says Pittsburgh will get third and fifth-round draft picks from Oakland.
The trade tends to make final what became a messy and really public divorce amongst Brown and the group that helped turn the sixth-round choose into arguably the greatest wide receiver of his generation. It also provides the Raiders a higher-profile addition for head coach Jon Gruden immediately after the group traded away two of the team’s greatest stars final year in edge rusher Khalil Mack and receiver Amari Cooper. Oakland got further initial-round picks in these trades but didn’t require to give up any of its 4 picks in the top rated 35 in the upcoming draft to obtain Brown, who has topped 100 receptions and 1,200 yards getting in every of the previous six seasons. The Raiders have had only one particular player attain these marks in a single season in franchise history, with Hall of Famer Tim Brown accomplishing the feat in 1997.
Brown now provides quarterback Derek Carr his greatest offensive weapon given that getting into the league in 2014 and the Raiders a reputable star ahead of they move to Las Vegas for the 2020 season. The Raiders’ top rated wide receiver final season was Jordy Nelson, who had 63 catches for 739 yards.
Gruden has often admired Brown from his time as a broadcaster and had absolutely nothing but praise for the receiver ahead of the teams played final December. “He’s the hardest operating man, I believe, in football,” Gruden mentioned. “Hardest operating player I’ve ever noticed practice. I’ve noticed Jerry Rice, I’ve noticed a lot of fantastic ones, but I place Antonio Brown at the top rated. If there are any young wideouts out there, I’d go watch him practice. You figure out oneself why he’s such a fantastic player.”
Brown was of course pleased with the improvement, posting a video with Carr at a Pro Bowl with the caption “Love at initial sight” on his Twitter account.
Brown is no stranger to drawing headlines for each his prolific on-field production and his off-the-field activity, such as livestreaming from the locker area immediately after a playoff win more than Kansas City in January 2017 and obtaining pulled more than for driving at 100mph in the Pittsburgh suburbs final fall.
The from time to time tumultuous connection amongst the only player in NFL history with six straight 100-catch seasons and the franchise that produced him the highest-paid player at his position in the spring of 2017 reached a breaking point in late December. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin benched Brown for the duration of the typical-season finale against Cincinnati immediately after the wide receiver went radio silent in the final 48 hours ahead of the game. Brown arrived in a fur coat, attended the game for a half and then disappeared from view till nicely immediately after his teammates had cleaned out their lockers following a 9-six-1 season that left Pittsburgh on the outdoors of the playoffs for the initial time given that 2013.
When Brown did resurface, he started engaging in a series of increasingly antagonistic acts created to expedite his departure. He went on Instagram with former Steelers linebacker James Harrison for the duration of Tomlin’s season wrap-up press conference. He decried quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s “owner’s mentality” and chastised Tomlin for disciplining him in Week 17, no matter that Tomlin and the rest of the organization had spent years downplaying Brown’s off-the-field eccentricities.
Brown officially requested a trade final month, but not ahead of Photoshopping his familiar No84 onto a San Francisco 49ers jersey and employing his social media feeds to indicate not only his displeasure with the Steelers but also his interest in signing a new deal with whomever ought to obtain his solutions.
Even with his benching in the finale, Brown caught 104 passes for 1,297 yards and a franchise-record and NFL-higher 15 touchdowns. His final game in a Pittsburgh uniform could have been one particular of his most effective, a 14-reception, 185-yard, two-touchdown masterpiece in a road loss to New Orleans.
A week later, the player who after mentioned he wanted to retire a Steeler didn’t even suit up against the Bengals. Just more than two months later, he now finds himself heading to the second act of a profession that is on a Hall of Fame trajectory, although the Steelers have a hole at receiver and extra than $21m in dead revenue on their salary cap.