The Steelers and Raiders have reached a verbal agreement providing for the exchange of Antonio Brown to Oakland in exchange for a third and fifth round choice, said a source to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Brown will receive a new three-year deal worth $ 54.125 million from the Raiders, with a guarantee of $ 30.125 million, a source told Schefter. Previously, he was three years old and he had $ 38.9 million left in his contract with the Steelers, but nothing was guaranteed.
Brown said on his Instagram account late Saturday night that he was heading to Oakland.
The exchanges are unofficial before the start of the new league year on Wednesday.
For the Raiders, the addition of Brown represents a deep and explosive threat to quarterback Derek Carr, whose reconstruction team desperately needs.
The Raiders, who have had a winning season and a playoff appearance since the 2002 season, played in the NFL's 18th passing game last season with an average of 234.4 yards per game and their 19 touchdowns were tied for the 24th. Jordy Nelson led Oakland last season with 63 receptions for 739 yards and three touchdowns.
Brown recorded Hall of Fame production in Pittsburgh with 834 receptions, 11,207 yards and 74 touchdowns in nine years, including six consecutive 100-season NFL records. But a tapered relationship between the player and the team has overshadowed the screaming numbers, and a divorce has become inevitable.
When the Steelers started organizing a deal in January, they thought Brown's market would be strong, an NFL general manager saying the Steelers would have a first-round pick in any deal.
The market was strong enough to allow the team to negotiate with Brown, who will turn 31 in July, before the start of the free agency. The Steelers said Friday as an artificial deadline for an exchange after several teams – including the Raiders, Washington Redskins and Tennessee Titans, according to Schefter – have shown interest in scouting NFL.
Without Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster will be Pittsburgh's No. 1 catcher and the focal point of the offense in 2019. He recorded a record of 111 catches and won his first Pro Bowl auction last season. The depth map behind him, however, is not so clear.
James Washington, a second-round pick in 2018, has an obvious talent but is struggling to find the pace of a rookie, although he's encouraged it with a pair of more performances. 60 yards at the end of the year. Slots receiver Ryan Switzer, who scored 36 goals for a total of 253 yards in his first season at Pittsburgh, is the only other player to be contracted out. Three Reserves – Darrius Heyward-Bey, Justin Hunter and Eli Rogers – are unrestricted free agents.
The Steelers are among the league's top teams in terms of identifying the receivers in the repechage and could choose a full set on the second day for the second year in a row to replace Brown. They can also expand the pass features of Vance McDonald and half-smelters James Conner and Jaylen Samuels.