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Bills dismiss Antonio Brown rumors, say they've 'moved on' from star wide receiver

Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown plays against the

Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown plays against the Chargers on Dec. 2, 2018, in Pittsburgh. Credit: AP/Don Wright

Antonio Brown isn't heading to Buffalo after all.

After NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Thursday night that the Steelers were closing in on a deal to send the disgruntled wideout to Buffalo, Bills general manager Brandon Beane released a statement Friday morning dismissing the trade rumors.

"We inquired about Antonio Brown on Tuesday, and kept talks open with the Steelers," the statement said. "We had positive discussions, but ultimately it didn't make sense for either side. As great a player as Antonio Brown is, we have moved on and our focus is on free agency."

Brown also shot down the report Thursday night on Instagram by writing, “fake news” with a flashing alarm emoji.

Meanwhile, ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported that the Packers also might have interest in acquiring Brown.

The Steelers announced this week that they plan to deal Brown by Friday.

Brown is expected to fetch a high pick, perhaps a first-round selection, for Pittsburgh in a trade.

Brown has six consecutive 100-catch seasons but fell out of favor in Pittsburgh at the end of last season. He was inactive Week 17 following reports of a walkthrough confrontation with teammate Ben Roethlisberger. The quarterback denied any incident took place.

Brown told LeBron James on HBO’s “The Shop” that he felt disrespected by Roethlisberger following an interception in November against the Broncos. “He feels like he’s the owner,” Brown said.

Brown met with team officials, including Steelers president Art Rooney II, two weeks later and the sides agreed a trade would be the best solution for all involved. Brown tweeted that day: "Had a great meeting with Mr.Rooney today we discussed a lot of things and we cleared the air on several issues! We both agreed that it is time to move on but I’ll always have appreciation and gratitude towards the Rooney family and @steelers organization!"

Brown has 837 catches for 11,207 yards and 74 touchdowns for his career, all with the Steelers. He has six straight 100-plus catch seasons, including last year when he caught 104 for 1,297 yards and 15 touchdowns. 

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