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Report: Packers were one of few teams interested in trading for WR Antonio Brown

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Report: Packers were one of few teams interested in trading for WR Antonio Brown

-- Within his first year as general manager, Brian Gutekunst showed that he was by no means afraid of entering bargaining discussions with other teams to improve the Green Bay Packers' roster.

Those sentiments held true Thursday night when news broke that the Buffalo Bills had acquired All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown from the Pittsburgh Steelers. According to Dianna Russini of ESPN, the Packers were one of the few teams still in on Brown and looking to make the move.

The Oakland Raiders, Tennesee Titans and Washington Redskins were some of the other notable candidates who desired Brown's services, but it was believed that most -- if not all -- of those teams had dropped out of the race.

Gutekunst was in deep discussions with the Raiders last year to trade for star pass rusher Khalil Mack, just before he was shipped elsewhere in the NFC North -- the Chicago Bears.

One of the means in which the Packers will improve their roster under Gutekunst will indeed be through free agency and entering discussions with teams hoisting players as trade bait. Brown's contract would've been manageable for the Packers, who will have a sufficient amount of cap space this spring, but the Bills may have simply offered more.

Or, perhaps, their likelihood of finishing below the Packers in the 2019 standings could position the Steelers for a higher draft slot. Either way, the Packers may not have wanted to part with one of their two first-round selections -- No. 12 and No. 30 -- for a soon-to-be-31-year-old wide receiver.

This doesn't mean the Packers will be out of the market for a receiver completely. Despite investing three selections in the receiver position in last year's draft, there's still almost a necessity to infuse the position with more talent and maximize Aaron Rodgers' efficiency as he enters his age 36 season.


Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (67) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

kevgk's picture

I like the agression in pursuing a top tier player, but I'm not sure I would have liked trading assets for the priviledge of (inevitably) signing a skill player on the wrong side of 30 to a brand new deal only for him to become a lockerroom problem because he can't handle criticism and expects everything he wants.
OBJ on the other hand would be a much better investment...

Minniman's picture

Wading through all of the social media debris it appears that AB had issues with Big Ben and targets per match. I'm really not sure how that would have panned out with Rodgers (and his perceived "trust" issues).

Maybe for the best then that it didn't happen?

The TKstinator's picture

Who on earth is willing to run 3-4 hours a day?

dobber's picture

The RoadRunner?

...'cuz runnin' down the road is his idea of havin' fun!

GBPDAN1's picture

I am now reading the deal might not happen with the Bills

The TKstinator's picture

Buffalo has backed out.

Billy’s brother Brandon wised up.

The TKstinator's picture

Now he’s Gruden’s and Mayock’s problem.
I wonder how long till he and Jordy are best buds.
(I’m setting the over/under at “never”.)

Christian Roussel's picture

Fantastic player. In the end, we'll be better off.

kevgk's picture

this would probably be worse than 2 first round picks and a monster record contract for a player that disappeared halfway through the season (especially the playoff game) like some nearby team...

BoCallahan's picture

I am SO GLAD we missed out on this trade. Go after what is necessary, not the luxury players. Someone needs to get word to Gute to read Old School, Since 61, Reynoldo, Cold World, Stock Holder, Dobber and some of the other more sensible commenters on here.

The TKstinator's picture

He does.
I’m sure he does.

dobber's picture

I don't know if I'm someone to listen to: still pissed they never signed Harry Colon.

I still snicker every time I say that name...

The TKstinator's picture

You’re not alone, my friend.

haseo's picture

Gute doin gute things

The TKstinator's picture

It’s all gute, brother.

Lphill's picture

Very surprised the Packers would even consider putting this ass on the team, he is not half the man Davante Adams is.

azmtns's picture

Now, early Friday morning. No deal to Buffalo. Nobody wants him. Buffalo was offering a 7th round pick and a few extra ball tee's for trade.

LambeauPlain's picture

I saw Brown interviewed in his 18,000 sq. ft. mansion with his dyed blonde mustache and gold diamond rings on every finger.

He is a self absorbed, divisive clown.

If Gutey was working hard to trade for him with a high draft pick, it is very concerning.

On the other hand, if he offered up a 7th rounder....

DragonSilk's picture

AR to AB would've been a deadly combo. There may have been some drama but it would have been drowned out by production. People were screaming bloody murder about signing Andre Rison right up until the first series of the Super Bowl.

BoCallahan's picture

I seem to remember an interview where Risen said that he lined up in Freeman’s position, just goofing around because it was a running play. Brett audibled out of it because of something they had seen on tape. I wonder how Freeman felt about that??

The TKstinator's picture

He is Risen

PeteK's picture

Who's going to do the dirty work of blocking and tackling?

Skip greenBayless's picture

Total bullshit. Nobody was upset about signing Rison. We lost Brooks and we were a super bowl team on the cusp of winning it all. Everybody was happy about getting Rison. We needed a playmaker to make up for Brooks and we got him in Rison. I don't know what planet you were on at that time but it wasn't Earth. This current Packers team is not the 1996 Packers. We've got lots of holes to fill and we have an aging qb on his last legs. It's a totally different situation. If Gute was/is thinking of picking up AB he needs to be impeached.


DragonSilk's picture

You're full of Bullshit! You either have have childhood amnesia or you're just an idiot. Plenty of people were upset about Rison's character issues.

Since '61's picture

Not to argue the point, but I was excited when the Packers signed Rison. Yes I was concerned about his character issues but I knew that he was a talented player who could help our team at the time.

Also, I realized that Coach Holmgren was not going to allow any player, Rison or any other, to knock his team off the track. If Rison gave the Packers any trouble I was confident that Holmgren would just sit him down and maybe not even dress him if necessary. If Holmgren didn't let Wolf know that he either wanted or could handle Rison, Wolf would not have signed him.

Rison also knew that he had a legit opportunity to earn an SB ring in Green Bay. Plus you had team leaders like Reggie White, Favre and others who probably spoke with him and guided him not to screw it up for himself and the rest of the team.

Players still policed each other better then than they do today. And as I mentioned earlier there was Holmgren. If you pushed him he pushed back, hard, very hard. In the end the results prove that Rison was fine and the Packers benefitted from having him on the team.
Thanks, Since '61

Skip greenBayless's picture

Funny how you suddenly add in "character issues". You never said that until now. Being excited about Rison coming to Green Bay and people having concerns about his character are two different things. I seem to remember excitement all across Packerland when he signed as he was the one guy who was equal to offset Brooks' loss. I honestly am more upset over your character issues than Risons.


DragonSilk's picture

I didn't "suddenly add in character issues." It was just a comment about what was a fact at the time. Didn't realize it was necessary to go into detail because I didn't expect some dick head to suddenly start crying bullshit for no reason.

Rossonero's picture

Turns out the trade to Buffalo fell through last night. Brown is still a Steeler....for now.

This might mean Gutekunst could still inquire, but I don't want a diva like AB.

Don't do it, Gute!!

RCPackerFan's picture

And now he is not going to Buffalo.

If there are not many teams interested what is his true value? Will it take a 3rd round, 4th round pick to get him?

If you are Green Bay do you trade one of your 2 4th round picks for him?

Dzehren's picture

I have a feeling the Steelers don’t want to see AB succeed with a great QB.

stockholder's picture

I have a feeling were returning to days when everyone laughed at the packers. (Suckers) The pack will never be Back. The info- structure became more important then winning.

Skip greenBayless's picture

You think?


PeteK's picture

You guys are joking, right. We were in close games against both SB teams, have two 1st round picks, and money to spend. I would hate to be in a fox hole with you two guys.

Donster's picture

As a young receiver, Brown was really a great young man. But the past two years there has been a big change in him. He has morphed into Terrell Owens and Dez Bryant. His talent is without question. But he has shown now that he will throw anyone under the bus. His QB, his coach and the rest of his teammates. Bringing him in would be a big risk. His teammate Le'Veon Bell brings the same kind of baggage.

IF indeed the report is true, and with some of these reporters, I don't trust what they are putting out there, as many times it is just self promoting BS, It bothers me that Gute would even consider AB at a soon to be 31 year old. Especially the price. At least Kahlil Mack isn't a diva. It is a dangerous reach. Almost a borderline panic mode attempt.

Donster's picture

And this just in...

By Rob Demovsky,

While the Antonio Brown situation rolls on, the Packers won't jump in now and were not involved before. They never had any conversations with the Steelers about the receiver, according to league sources with knowledge of the Packers' actions.

RCPackerFan's picture

And then there is Dianna Russini from ESPN that stated:

"It was tough to find teams that were in on Antonio Brown, one of those teams though...the Packers. Green Bay was interested and looking to make moves per sources."

So the question is who do we really believe?

I assume Rob is right, but there is a lot of misinformation.

Guam's picture

I am suspicious of any media nowadays, but if I recall correctly, ESPN was beating the "AB to Green Bay" drum long before anyone else was. The follow on comment by Russini may just be ESPN trying to validate their initial coverage. I am not aware of Demovsky having any prior position to justify.

Personal opinion - I hope the Packers never sign a diva like AB.

dobber's picture

"Personal opinion - I hope the Packers never sign a diva like AB."

If you listen to a lot of the talk around here late in the season and into January, they did last fall.

Guam's picture

Nicely done Dobber and Rodgers has his moments, but he is not a diva in the category of AB.

Bure9620's picture

Not worth the locker room issue alone. What happens when DA gets more targets than him in a game? He'll start losing it.

DD's picture

Interest in Brown only. Nice print only. I think Rosen, for a second round pick, could learn behind Rodgers and be our next great one. I liked Rosen coming put and think this should draw interest. You thoughts?

jannes bjornson's picture

You're stuck with Kiser because Gutekunst moved on him. Maybe he was influenced by McCarthy? I would punt him along and draft Stidhem or Grier if they fell to the fourth round.

stockholder's picture

Marketing! This is so crazy after Burnett. The guys best days are behind him. Don't like it. Don't like it. Don't like it.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

L.Bell would be better than A. Brown, but Tevin Coleman would be more bang for the buck.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Nobody is going to want Brown

The TKstinator's picture

Not true.
Every time I walk the dog I hope for brown.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Well, except for the Patriots.

TXCHEESE's picture

Russini is just full of it. I don't believe for a second the Packers ever gave serious thought to trading for that turd. These "reporters" that make this crap up, should be canned by their employers and sent to report junior league hockey for the rest of their careers.

Since '61's picture

I hope that Demovsky is correct and that the Packers were never serious about A. Brown. Why would we want a player on the other side of 30 who could and likely would divide the locker room?

If we are going after a top WR I'd rather get one through the draft. They would be much younger and not have any baggage. We need to get younger and more athletic.

If the Packers are going to get back to the SB in the next few seasons then they need to be excellent at asset management. Every dollar and and every draft pick needs to be utilized wisely in pursuit of reaching the SB while Rodgers can still play effectively.

We don't need players like Brown, while a great player, who are all about themselves. He is looking for his last big payday not necessarily another SB ring.

Use our FA money for the OL, Edge and Safety. Bring in the younger athletic guys for the skill positions. Thanks, Since '61

Skip greenBayless's picture

"If the Packers are going to get back to the SB in the next few seasons then they need to be excellent at asset management."

In other words Since 61', you mean the Packers need to be more like Ted Thompson was correct?


Since '61's picture

Dash - by now you should know that if I wanted to make a point about Ted Thompson I would have done so in my post. This is part of the problem with e-Communications in general. Too much is assumed and/or read into another's comments.

For the record, I think that TT was a good GM for the Packers. From 2005 to 2010 he did an excellent job ultimately resulting in an SB trophy in 2010. After 2010 his drafts went progressively downhill and he did little to fill the gaps via FA. He did sign Julius Peppers which was a good move but little else.

He left us without a decent safety for a few seasons. He let the ILB position languish for several seasons and even today all we are left with is Martinez. We have not had a player at OLB since CM3 was a few years younger. Perry has been a complete failure when you consider that he was a #1 pick and then drastically overpaid when he was re-signed.

At TE we've had nothing since Finley went down. He made a good move when he signed Cook but inexplicably let him walk for Bennett!!??? (WTF?). We remain in TE limbo as of today.

He left us without a legitimate running game for all but 2 seasons with Lacy. He did draft Aaron Jones but so far he has been too little too late. But hopefully he still has a long career with us ahead.

To be fair TT did draft Daniels, Clark, King, Linsley, Bak, Bulaga and Cobb since 2011. Everywhere else besides starting QB and PK has been a revolving door on our roster. Leaving Gute with a huge challenge to get this team back to an SB during AR's remaining tenure in Green Bay. It is not impossible but Gute needs to hit on nearly every FA signing and top 3-5 draft picks over the next 2-3 seasons to get us there. That is what I meant when I posted that we need excellent asset management for the next few seasons. TT did not provide excellent asset management during his last 7 seasons in GB. Thanks, Since '61

The TKstinator's picture

Hey 61,
Keep in mind the guy asking is the former “Thompson Twins”.

Since '61's picture

Thanks TK, I have suspected this for a while. Since '61

Skip greenBayless's picture

This so called "news" is one of two things. My guess is like everything else in the media, this is FAKE NEWS!! it's simply a lie and Green Bay was never ever interested. Just some made up garbage or someone speculating and suddenly out of the blue Green Bay is "interested" in AB. If they actually were/are interested in AB you all should be very concerned about the future of your Packers because if we have a current GM stupid enough to piss away draft picks on this POS we've got bigger problems and it starts with Gute. Better hope and pray this is FAKE NEWS!!


albert999's picture

He’s an arrogant ass
Quits on his team and teammates walks out at half
Really hope no one picks him up and he’s done and we don’t have to listen or talk about him again

Skip greenBayless's picture

That would be nice to see Uncle Albert but there's always going to be some sucker team willing to bite.


The TKstinator's picture

He’s an arrogant ass
Money can’t buy you class
He quits on his team
Thinks he’s a QB’s dream
I’m glad GB took a pass

albert999's picture

very nice !

CAG123's picture

I see a lot of you devour the crap the media says about certain players when they want them blackballed. AB one of the best receivers in the game guy the brings it every time he steps on the field is suddenly a "quitter" because ESPN said so. Ben is the one that caused this mess by calling AB out after he threw a pick to a lineman when AB was win open against Denver. How are guys like Bell and AB deemed a distraction or quitters but not Ben with his constant cheap shots at his coach, multiple rape allegations, and the will he or won't he retire crap? Because the media/team has decided not to label him that.

albert999's picture

Bens a quitter? Have you seen him win Super Bowls....Cheap shots? It’s called leadership!
AB ....FACT he walked out ..QUIT...and if he can’t take criticizing then he’s in the wrong game and better go back to playground ball

crayzpackfan's picture

If you’re gonna go big on an elite player in FA, their character or lack there of is a MUST to consider. Brown is absolutely on the wrong side of character. Stay away.

ILPackerBacker's picture

This report, of course, was completely wrong.

Unreal the noise and crap that gets posted and repeated thanks to social media and lazy bloggers

NitschkeFan's picture

When different reporters give different stories it could be they have different sources. It would be in Brown's interest to have an agent or someone from his "camp" to put out a call to reporters that this team or that team have expressed an interest in trading for AB.

Although team GM's might not be totally forthcoming with details, I would think they would be less likely to outright lie about having made enquiries about a player.

So I would more like to believe Packers sources and beat reporters than most others who seem to have less contact with the Packers front office.

Lare's picture

Sometimes the sources are the teams themselves trying to gauge fandom's reaction to a move. Remember, the Packers hired Ari Fleischer as a media consultant back when they were dealing with the Favre retirement situation.

A Pickled Packer's picture

Don't like this notion of passing on a great one, drafting another WR is taking a pass on the matter. We need a WR opposite Devante, teams will be sitting on him all year. Heard Brown was the hardest working WR in football, it rivals that of Rice, if that's so maybe the dude's in shape, not old at all and would be a role model for the new ones to show them how to prepare and get it done.
Maybe it's a circus in Pittsburgh and in a circus one can act like a clown if the circumstances are right, to which Antonio was a victim of, to go to Green Bay would be like night and day. He could focus on football there and get away from all the noise. He'll have a more cerebral QB to play with rather than that snot nose he's played for his whole career and might enjoy the game again and be a team player. If he's dedicated to his craft by working as hard as they say that's show's a solid character and is good enough for me. So, if we get a chance to pick up Antonio Brown on the cheap I hope we do it with both hands. It takes great players, not developmental flotsam to get to a SB. A DA to AB tandem would be the best in football for years.
In the Pittsburgh Steelers strong desire to unload, I hope we get an offer we can't refuse.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

At the pick price the Steelers wanted initially and AB's desire for a new contract, one would suppose only down and out teams with loads of salary cap space would consider him. That's the Jets, Bills, Raiders, and arguably, the 49ers.

So, Indy with its $102M in cap space can spare the cap and they need a WR2 next to TY Hilton. One of the few pretty good teams who can dump AB if he becomes a problem. Indy has 26, 34, 59, 89, 2 fourths (128, 135). Indy is a pretty good team that could get better fast between its draft picks and cap space. It also needs DBs everywhere except at FS where they drafted Malik Hooker.

Houston Texans with $68M in cap space also needs a WR2. It could afford the nonsense if AB doesn't work out, though not as easily as Indy. It has 23, 54, 55, 86 but no 4th, then 161.

Baltimore has $52M and doesn't have a #1 WR. It has some #2 and #3 types. Not sure Lamar Jackson to AB is going to work, but they are a good team that needs a WR. Is this an Ozzie type thing to do, though? No 2nd-rounder but they do have 102 and 123.

If the price goes down to a 4th, and AB really does not stand for Ain't Bright, maybe AB can go to a desirable place and get paid yet again.

It is a no-go in GB. 34M - $5M draft class - $3M cushion leaves $26M to spend. $15.1M (AB's current cap # under a trade) shouldn't happen in GB for AB. It would leave $11M, so $2M more for Allison or Wilkerson, still might squeeze in an Earl Thomas or an OLB.

Would Brown and Thomas be enough in FA?
Would Brown and Ford/Smith be enough?

It would be exciting, that's for sure.

The TKstinator's picture

Is that “pick price” or “prick price”?

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