Last Updated: 08/03/19 8:59am
Wide receiver Antonio Brown says reports that the Pittsburgh Steelers are ready to trade him to the Buffalo Bills is “fake news”.
It was widely reported that the Steelers were closing in on a deal to send disgruntled Brown to the Bills, but the wide receiver hit back at the reports on social media by writing “fake news” with a flashing alarm emoji.
Sources claimed the Bills had enquired about Brown but that no deal was imminent and that a trade between the clubs was unlikely to happen, while ESPN claimed the Green Bay Packers were also interested.
The Steelers announced earlier this week that they plan to deal Brown by Friday. Brown is expected to fetch a high pick, perhaps a first-round selection, for Pittsburgh in a trade.
The Oakland Raiders are not believed to be interested on giving up precious draft capital to acquire Brown.
With three picks in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Raiders might be willing to part with a second-round selection.
The Cleveland Browns and New York Jets have also ruled out a deal for Brown.
Brown has six consecutive 100-catch seasons but fell out of favour in Pittsburgh at the end of last season and was inactive during week 17 following reports of a confrontation with team-mate Ben Roethlisberger.
Steelers’ coach Mike Tomlin said at his season-ending press conference that the implication Brown quit on his team was not lost on him.
Brown met with team officials two weeks later and the sides agreed a trade would be the best solution for all involved.
Pittsburgh is also parting with running back Le’Veon Bell, the twice-franchise-tagged former All-Pro who opted to sit out the 2018 season in a contract squabble.