Pittsburgh Steelers disaffected wide receiver Antonio Brown is now an Oakland Raider, according to ESPN football reporter Adam Schefter, who broke the news of a “verbal agreement” to deal Brown to Oakland via his Twitter account.
According to Schefter, citing “sources” in a separate Twitter post, the Raiders acquired the 30-year-old, seven-time Pro Bowl receiver in exchange for a third round draft pick and fifth round draft pick.
Brown had been disgruntled with the Steelers, and appeared destined to leave the team one way or another since he left team practice on a Wednesday prior to Pittsburgh’s final 2018 regular-season game, and simply never showed up again until the game itself on Sunday, according to Mike Florio of NBC Sports.
Schefter also reported via Twitter that the Raiders have revised Brown’s contract to add $30.125 million in guaranteed money — to a contract that previously contained no guaranteed cash. The total value of Brown’s new deal with the Raiders, per Schefter’s reporting, is $54.125 million, including incentives over three years.
Brown said in an interview last week that he expected to be traded before March 17, when a clause in his contract would kick in to pay him a $2.5 million bonus, as reported by Inquisitr.
Brown himself announced the deal on his own Twitter account.
— Antonio Brown (@AB84) March 10, 2019
The Raiders earlier this season traded wide receiver Amari Cooper, the fourth overall pick in the 2015 draft, to the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for a first-round draft pick, as ESPN reported.
“In the end, the Raiders traded Amari Cooper, a third-round pick, and a fifth-round pick for Antonio Brown and a first-round pick,” wrote Florio on the Pro Football Talk site. “Looking at it that way, that looks like a great deal for Oakland.”
According to Pro Football Talk on Twitter, Brown’s new Raiders deal represents a raise of almost $11 million over the three year term of the contract.
In nine seasons with the Steelers, Brown caught 837 passes for 11,207 yards and 74 touchdowns, including an NFL-leading 15 TDs last season, according to Pro Football Reference stats. His six straight seasons with over 100 catches, which began in 2013, set an NFL record.
The entire Raiders team had just 19 receiving touchdowns in 2018, according to ESPN, which ranked them 24th in the NFL. The Raiders’ top pass-catcher in their 4-12 campaign was Jordy Nelson, who caught 63 passes for 739 yards and three touchdowns.
But since 2014, Brown’s 576 catches are 52 more than any other NFL receiver over that span, according to ESPN‘s Field Yates. In addition, Brown’s 59 touchdown catches are 14 more than anyone else in the NFL over the last five seasons.