Sources told NFL Network Thursday night that Buffalo and Pittsburgh were "closing in" on a deal to send the seven-time Pro Bowl selection to the Bills.
The NFL posted the same headline in an Instagram post and Brown responded with a "fake news" comment. Multiple reports emerged hours later saying trade talks were breaking down.
Buffalo released a statement Friday saying that the team was moving on from the possibility of adding the superstar pass-catcher. The AFC East franchise admitted to asking the Steelers about Brown earlier in the week.
"We inquired about Antonio Brown on Tuesday, and kept talks open with the Steelers," Bills general manager Brandon Beane 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."
A source told ESPN that the deal fell apart because Brown indicated he would not report to the Bills if he was traded to Buffalo. Sources told NFL Network that the Bills decided a trade was "not worth the drama" of wondering if Brown would show up.
Brown, 30, led the NFL with 15 receiving scores in 2018. The four-time All-Pro also had 1,297 yards on 104 receptions, completing his sixth consecutive season with at least 100 receptions, 1,200 yards and eight touchdowns.