Rumors spread early Friday that the Buffalo Bills' potential trade for disgruntled wide receiver Antonio Brown had fallen through because the Steelers star didn't want to come to Buffalo, reinforced by his more cryptic Instagram post and tweets by CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, among others.
The News' Vic Carucci's report Saturday - which breaks down what happened between the Bills, Steelers and Brown's agent, Drew Rosenhaus - doesn't give any credence to the rumor Brown killed the deal due to an undesirable destination.
Is it as simple as saying Antonio Brown wouldn’t come to Buffalo? Read this before deciding. https://t.co/vwd2rFFl4C
— Jay Skurski (@JaySkurski) March 9, 2019
But in the hours between the Bills' announcement the talks were dead and Carucci's report, many public figures, including non-natives who took a chance on Buffalo themselves, quickly defended the city.
Here's some of the reaction that caught our eye:
I understand where @AB84 was coming from and not wanting to go to The Bills, trust me I was raising hell not to go but when I got to the city everything changed. I think he made a mistake in not going.
— Shawne Merriman (@shawnemerriman) March 8, 2019
Merriman, a former Bills pass rusher, was born in Washington, DC but played the majority of his career in San Diego. He wore the Bills' red, white and blue from 2010-2012.
I explain this to people all of the time. The facility, staff, coaches, management, owner, etc make the experience bc you aren’t enjoying LA or Miami during the season and if you are you won’t be there long anyways https://t.co/yOVRFu5Bj2
— Eric Wood (@EWood70) March 8, 2019
Wood, a longtime Bills center who retired last year, is a Cincinnati native who played in college for Louisville before spending his entire professional career in Buffalo.
Last point: It's fair to point out that Bills haven't had postseason success for 20 years and it's cold there but I'm sick of people that have never been there making fun of it, calling it Siberia, etc.
It was my favorite stop of my 5 teams by far and I'll leave it at that.
— Ross Tucker (@RossTuckerNFL) March 8, 2019
Tucker, a Pennsylvania native who was an offensive lineman for five NFL teams, played for Buffalo in 2003 and 2004.
no one likes it until they live there.
— Chris DiPasquale (@ChrisDepo) March 8, 2019
IN OTHER NEWS..... lol'ing at everyone talking smack about #Buffalo when you've never even been here. You're missing out, I can promise ya that.
(and yes, it snows here. we know that.)
— Jenna Harner (@JennaHarner4) March 8, 2019
The WIVB sports reporter is from Connecticut originally but has quickly embraced Buffalo since her hiring last April.
I live in a different country now and miss Buffalo every day. It's an amazing city. The winter weather isn't great but the people, food, architecture, walkability, diversity, affordability, park systems, and sunsets are top-notch. https://t.co/oD73OIpKqL
— Ali Ingersoll (@Ali_IngNews) March 8, 2019
Ingersoll is a native of Philadelphia who worked in Buffalo for WIVB for three years before pursuing her master's degree abroad.
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) March 8, 2019
It annoys me when people who have never been to Buffalo say it’s terrible. Say what you want about the Bills and their lack of success but don’t trash the city because it’s an awesome place.
— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) March 8, 2019
Bove is a Western New York native. Naturally, others - including some who live in Buffalo - sided with Brown's rumored stance.
Speaking as someone that's a Patriots fan and is living in Buffalo, I can totally relate with Antonio Brown on not wanting to come to Buffalo.
— Keith Sieman (@KeithSieman) March 9, 2019
I’ve been to Buffalo. I don’t blame Antonio Brown for nixing that trade. I’d move to Baghdad before I spent another night in Buffalo.
— Jay Pires (@jayp849) March 8, 2019
Antonio Brown has done some strange things in his career. Not wanting to go to Buffalo isn't one of them.
— Sid Seixeiro (@Sid_Seixeiro) March 8, 2019
Back in the day we used to tell players we'd send them to Siberia, aka Green Bay, when they'd ask for a trade. Now I guess it's Buffalo.
— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) March 8, 2019
I don’t know what’s crazier online today, people saying Buffalo is as nice as major markets/not seeing the obvious benefits of playing in one (and that’s ignoring how bad the Bills have been for how long) or people actually saying the Bills are “better off” for not having Brown
— Mark Simoncelli Jr. (@mjcule) March 8, 2019
So, does Antonio Brown have a no trade clause in his contract or is a no trade clause to Buffalo in every NFL players contract?
— Kenny BooYah! (@KwikWarren) March 8, 2019
And others are simply worth including:
Never ever defend Buffalo. Let outsiders wallow in their misconceptions. (Unless they’re talking about the state/local tax rates which are, admittedly, absurd). Otherwise, let them prate on. It keeps out the riffraff
— Bob DiCesare (@bdicesare59) March 8, 2019
Wait, Antonio Brown didn't want to go to Buffalo but was okay living in Pittsburgh all these years???
— Dan Dudzinski (@PopsToFour) March 9, 2019
Antonio Brown just inadvertently made people from Buffalo even closer. #BuffaloAgainstTheWorld
— John Becker (@Johnbecker195) March 8, 2019
I finally understand why Antonio Brown didn’t want to go to Buffalo.
He was afraid he couldn’t fill the shoes of Kelvin Benjamin.
— Donnie Druin (@DonnieDruin) March 9, 2019
Antonio Brown is going to miss out on these Buffalo sunsets. https://t.co/whvxvzhb45
— Mike Read (@mikeEread) March 9, 2019
Im old enough to remember when Antonio Brown was a Buffalo Bill
— Jesse Reeves (@JesseReevesFF) March 8, 2019
The Antonio Brown era in Buffalo still lasted longer than my first marriage.
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) March 8, 2019
Former NFL wide receiver Tom Crabtree should be given credit for perhaps the funniest tweet on the situation:
I’m willing to play for 10% less (negotiable) than what you would’ve paid Antonio Brown.
He had the same receiving stats as me in Super Bowl XLV (1 rec for 1 yard) but we won and he didn’t.
Also I’m bigger and probably faster.
DM to begin negotiations.
— Tom Crabtree (@itsCrab) March 8, 2019