Antonio Brown Trade Rumors: Eagles' Talks with Steelers 'Never Got Serious'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 10, 2019

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - DECEMBER 23: Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers attempts to catch the ball as Marshon Lattimore #23 of the New Orleans Saints defends during the second half at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 23, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles reportedly had discussions involving wide receiver Antonio Brown, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, though it was "simply two teams doing their due diligence, and those talks never got serious."

Instead, Brown was dealt to the Oakland Raiders for a third- and fifth-round pick. 

One major factor in the Raiders and Steelers coming to an agreement was the pay raise Oakland was willing to offer. Per ESPN.com:

"Brown will receive a new three-year deal worth up to $54.125 million from the Raiders, with $30.125 million guaranteed, the source said. He previously had three years and $38.9 million left on his contract with the Steelers, with none of the money guaranteed.

"In the end, Brown converted the Steelers' four-year extension at $17 million per year into what amounts to $19.8 million per year in new money."

With the Eagles already tight in cap space and a long-term extension for quarterback Carson Wentz on the horizon, offering that sort of money for a wide receiver who will be 31 during the 2019 season likely wouldn't have made much sense, even if Brown would have made the Eagles one of the scariest offenses in football.

Indeed, the combination of Wentz, Brown, Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert would have kept opposing defensive coordinators up at night. 

Eliot Shorr-Parks @EliotShorrParks

Howie's approach -- like doing due diligence on Antonio Brown -- makes the #Eagles a fun team to cover. It is never silly to ask "Will they make a trade for" or "Will they sign" for any player, because the front office is doing the exact same thing.

Instead, Brown is off to Oakland, where he'll immediately become the focal point of the offense and look to build a rapport with Derek Carr. He'll certainly be an upgrade in the passing game after Jared Cook (68 receptions for 896 yards and six touchdowns) was the team's top threat through the air. 

On the field, going from Ben Roethlisberger to Carr is a downgrade. But given the issues Brown had with Roethlisberger from a personality standpoint, a fresh start will be welcomed.

As for the Eagles, the remaining cap space they have could be used to fill a number of needs, including running back, linebacker or depth on the offensive and defensive lines. A Brown trade would have been a major splash, but it would have limited the ability to fill the rest of the roster with quality players.