Mike Mayock didn’t believe Antonio Brown would be traded to Oakland. Oh, the Raiders general manager had tried to make the deal, but on the night of March 8, it didn’t look good.
“It was not getting done,” Mayock told NBC Sports’ Peter King in his Football Morning in America column. “Actually, I went to bed Friday night and the deal was off the table.”
Mayock had trade terms struck with the Steelers – a third-round and a fifth-round draft pick would go to Pittsburgh – but the wide receiver wanted more money before deciding to go to Oakland, and the sides seemingly were at an impasse on that issue. Also hanging over the proceedings was the Steelers' failed trade of Brown to the Buffalo Bills, reportedly because the receiver didn't want to go there.
Brown did want to go to Oakland, though, so his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, and Mayock worked it out.
“If you want to get a deal done, Drew will stay at it with tenacity,” Mayock told King. “But we woke up on Saturday without a deal. He had a position and I had a position.
“We had some issues with the amount of guaranteed money they wanted, and how far we were willing to go. Plus, AB wanted to be the highest-paid receiver in football. Those were issues we had to address. Those respective positions cost us a deal on Friday night.”
The trade became official the night of March 9, after Mayock and Rosenhaus agreed to a new contract that put Brown past Odell Beckham Jr. in average annual value and guaranteed the receiver $30 million. King noted that Brown’s three-year deal is back-loaded for the final two years, when the Raiders will play in Nevada, which doesn’t have state income tax.
Mayock saw right away that he’d invested in a player with big goals and dedication.
“AB got off the plane with a nutritionist and a trainer,” the GM said. “They go everywhere with him. He wants to break Jerry Rice’s all-time record. Trust me: me and Jon are all in with that. I just think what happened in Pittsburgh was there were some lines drawn on both sides, and it was hard to get past that. He is primed to show everyone how good he is.”
Raider Nation is ready to see that.