From the moment that Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown requested to be traded, Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden had to have had his eyes wide open hoping to find a way to pair him with Derek Carr in Oakland.
Brown has had plenty of issues in the locker room in Pittsburgh, but there is no denying that he is one of the best receivers in football as he has had at least 1,200 yards and eight touchdowns in each of the last six seasons.
While a bunch of teams showed interest in Brown this offseason, it was ultimately Gruden and the Raiders that were able to come to an agreement as they are sending a 2019 third and a fifth round pick to Pittsburgh for Brown, via Ian Rappoport of NFL Network:
The Antonio Brown saga is finally nearing a close. Sources say the #Steelers are dealing AB to the #Raiders in exchange for a third round pick and a fifth round pick in this 2019 draft. Brown will also get a reworked contract that makes him the NFL’s highest paid WR.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 10, 2019
Additionally, the Raiders have reportedly agreed to a new contract to keep him in the organization for the next three years, via Adam Schefter of ESPN:
Raiders are adding money to Antonio Brown’s deal: He now will have three years worth $50.125 million – with incentives to go to $54.125 million, per source.
Where there was no guaranteed money there’s now $30.125 million guaranteed, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 10, 2019
The seven-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro immediately changes the landscape of the Raiders offense, giving them not only a vertical threat, but a reliable third-down target that will consistently require double teams.
Additionally, since it did not take a first-round pick to get him, the Raiders still have three of those in the upcoming NFL Draft, one of which was acquired from the Dallas Cowboys in the Amari Cooper trade.
While they obviously still have a long way to go, the acquisition of Brown could be a good start to a great offseason for Gruden and the Raiders.