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Steelers GM Kevin Colbert Addresses Antonio Brown Trade to Raiders

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 13, 2019

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown practices before an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
Gary Landers/Associated Press

The Pittsburgh Steelers have officially moved on from Antonio Brown.

General manager Kevin Colbert released a statement Wednesday in which he said the team traded the wide receiver and pointed to the increase in draft picks as a reason for optimism. He also added, "Antonio remains one of the best players in the National Football League, but as we believe, this move was in the best interest of the Pittsburgh Steelers."

Pittsburgh Steelers @steelers

Statement from GM Kevin Colbert on Antonio Brown: https://t.co/MxPxjXDucV

The Oakland Raiders announced they acquired Brown from the Steelers via trade for a third- and fifth-round pick in the 2019 draft.

Colbert's belief that moving on was in the Steelers' best interest comes after Brown didn't exactly remain quiet regarding his desires to leave the team that drafted him in 2010.

He missed the Steelers' Week 17 game during the 2018 season despite it being an important contest in the playoff race following a dispute with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, per Gerry Dulac and Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

He also tweeted that he and owner Art Rooney "both agreed that it is time to move on" following a meeting:

Antonio Brown @AB84

Had a great meeting with Mr.Rooney today we discussed a lot of things and we cleared the air on several issues! We both agreed that it is time to move on but I’ll always have appreciation and gratitude towards the Rooney family and @steelers organization! #CallGod #Boomin https://t.co/DEgURchvhW

Pittsburgh's loss is Oakland's gain, as Brown is a four-time All-Pro and seven-time Pro Bowler who has led the league in receptions twice, receiving yards twice and touchdown catches once. He also topped 1,200 receiving yards in each of the last six years and showed no signs of slowing in 2018 with 104 catches for 1,297 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Antonio Brown @AB84

☠️☠️☠️ #RaiderNation https://t.co/ul6lIVk9dE

Brown figures to be an important part of a revamped Raiders offense that also signed wide receiver Tyrell Williams, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Oakland was a middling 18th in the league in passing yards last year on the way to a 4-12 record and last-place finish in the AFC West in 2018. Brown and Williams will look to change that.

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