NFL rumors: Steelers 'closing in' on Antonio Brown trade with Bills


NFL rumors: Steelers 'closing in' on Antonio Brown trade with Bills

Editor's note: A later report from the Buffalo News said a Steelers-Bills trade involving Antonio Brown was "unlikely." This story was written before that report came out.

Antonio Brown will not be playing for the 49ers or Raiders next year, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Thursday night.

Rapoport followed up about 20 minutes later, indicating "there are things" to work out.

Brown, however, wasn't so keen on the idea of a trade to Western New York.

Brown had been personally reaching out to several members of the 49ers on social media, even going so far as to Photoshop himself in a San Francisco jersey.

The Raiders certainly had the need and the ammunition to pursue a trade for Brown, and quarterback Derek Carr supported the idea.

That was all for naught, apparently, as Brown reportedly now will join the Bills in the AFC East. He'll be out of Pittsburgh's division but still in the same conference.

Guess who the Steelers will play in Pittsburgh next season? That's right. The Bills.

Get your popcorn ready. That'll be quite the homecoming.

NFL rumors: Giants, Dolphins most active in Josh Rosen trade talks

NFL rumors: Giants, Dolphins most active in Josh Rosen trade talks

If the Cardinals do indeed turn to quarterback Kyler Murray with the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft to run Kliff Kingsbury's offense, it would presumably put an end to Josh Rosen's career in Arizona.

So, who makes sense as a trade partner for the Cardinals and their current quarterback? With the draft only a few days away, ESPN's Todd McShay has heard two teams have surfaced the most in trade discussions: the Giants and Dolphins. 

The Giants could have chosen Rosen with the No. 2 pick in the draft last year, but opted for running back Saquon Barkley. In this scenario, however, they could have a young nucleus of Rosen and Barkley on offense while possibly having Eli Manning for one last season under center. 

Miami is an interesting case as well. The Dolphins signed veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick on a two-year contract this offseason, though he's much more of a career backup. Rosen could learn from Fitzpatrick and then take over the offense.

Or the Dolphins could be targeting a quarterback in next year's draft like Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa or Oregon's Justin Herbert. 

There's also the chance that the Cardinals simply hold onto Rosen, and select a top defensive prospect like Nick Bosa or Quinnen Williams with the No. 1 pick. Arizona has received "trade feelers" for the No. 1 pick, NFL media's Ian Rapoport reported on Monday, and the team will meet in the next day or so to finalize plans going into Thursday's draft. 

[RELATED: Pundits agree on who 49ers should pick at No. 2]

The price for the 49ers' No. 2 pick would certainly go up if the Cardinals passed on Murray. San Francisco could then move back in the draft and net two first-round picks this year

Even if the 49ers move back from No. 2, they could find the pass rusher and target for Jimmy Garoppolo they desire.

While the 49ers are set at quarterback, they very well could be hoping the Cardinals decide they too don't need any upgrade for their signal caller.

NFL mock draft 2019: Pundits agree on who 49ers should pick at No. 2

NFL mock draft 2019: Pundits agree on who 49ers should pick at No. 2

The 2019 NFL Draft is less than a week away. Hard to believe, right?

After adding some quality players in free agency, the 49ers will continue bolstering their roster with Thursday's draft. No one knows for sure what direction San Francisco will choose to go with its first selection, but based on the most recent mock drafts, most expect the 49ers to add a premium defensive player with the No. 2 overall pick.

[RELATED: 49ers can find starters at edge rusher, receiver in draft]

That makes plenty of sense, considering San Francisco ranked dead last in takeaways (seven) and seventh-worst in points allowed per game (26.6) last season.

Here’s a selection from various NFL mock drafts highlighting the players being associated with the 49ers and the No. 2 pick:

SI.com: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
What they said: "Even with Dee Ford in the fold, the 49ers are desperate for disruptive edge rushers after forcing a record-low seven takeaways last year. Bosa is the best in this draft, which outweighs all those complimentary things he said about Spiro Agnew on his Geocities website."

ESPN.com: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
What they said: "Best. Player. Available. Bosa is the No. 1 prospect in this class, and he'll help off the edge in any defense."

CBS Sports: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
What they said: "Knowing full well they can get out of Dee Ford's mega deal sooner rather than later, the Niners get a new face for their defense, not to mention the most promising of any of their many first-round D-linemen."

SB Nation: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
What they said: "Although the 49ers traded for Dee Ford, that doesn’t totally solve the team’s issue with rushing the passer. Ford is a good, if inconsistent, player. Adding Bosa will take some of the attention off of him. If San Francisco wants to do as much four-man rushing as possible, having two edge rushers is vital."

WalterFootball.com: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
What they said: "Bosa has a tremendous skill set, and he was off to a great start in 2018 before injuring his knee. He's a top-three lock unless some Laremy Tunsil-esque news breaks about him"

NFL.com: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
What they said: "PROJECTED TRADE WITH RAIDERS. Williams adds yet another elite talent to the 49ers' defensive front. The Niners get the Raiders' second-round pick this year and one of their first-round picks next year (they have an extra one from the Khalil Mack trade) in the move. As for that compensation, remember, the Colts did receive three second-round picks so the Jets could move up three spots in the top 10 last year. Anything can happen!"