Latest On Steelers WR Antonio Brown

Steelers owner Art Rooney II made news last week when he admitted it’s “hard to envision” wide receiver Antonio Brown being with the team in training camp following his late-season meltdown, and today Rooney elaborated on Brown and his status with Pittsburgh.

The Steelers have yet to engage in any trade discussions for Brown, Rooney said (Twitter link via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette). So far, both the Broncos and 49ers have been mentioned as possible contenders to acquire Brown, but no negotiations have taken place. Trade talks — if they do occur — are more likely to go down near the start of the new league year in March.

Brown isn’t necessarily a goner from the Steelers’ roster, as Rooney says he’s keeping all doors open, per Bouchette. However, there are “not that many signs out there that” Brown is going to offer any sort of apology. Rooney admitted he’s not exactly sure what caused Brown to sit out the Steelers’ final game of the season. “I’m very disappointed in where we are and what happened and don’t have a lot of good explanations for it,” said Rooney, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

If Brown is cut or traded before June 1, the Steelers will incur more than $21MM in dead money on their salary cap and gain just over $1MM in new space. If he’s designated as a post-June 1 cut or traded after that date, Pittsburgh will take on roughly $7MM in dead money in 2019 and ~$14MM in 2020.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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32 comments on “Latest On Steelers WR Antonio Brown

  1. connfyoozed

    No matter what exactly happened or who said what that caused AB to do what he did before the Bengals game, the fact that he still apparently hasn’t talked to Tomlin or Rooney since the end of the season, despite Rooney saying that he’s tried to contact Brown multiple times, is inexcusable and frankly ridiculous. I’ve watched Steelers football for 40 years and I’ve enjoyed watching AB as much as any other Steeler during that time, but at this point I don’t care if he ever wears the black and gold again. What a freakin’ shame.

    • crosseyedlemon

      You should assume that anything coming out of the mouth of Rooney is totally self serving and bs. He admits that he doesn’t know what caused Brown to sit out the final game yet he is waiting for an apology from Brown. That is what is inexcusable and frankly ridiculous. Who would want to work for an employer who has you painted guilty of wrongdoing before getting the facts? How many more players will have to leave before fans realize the problem is Rooney?

      • connfyoozed

        I partially agree with you about Rooney being a good part of the problem, including how much Art is talking to the media since the season ended, but that’s beside my point. AB Not returning Rooney’s phone calls and texts for 2 weeks is completely wrong and inexcusable and only serves to protract this saga. I don’t even care if AB calls up Rooney and curses him out, but I am not interested in anything Brown has to say publicly if he can’t even bother to acknowledge that the team wants to maybe work things out.

        • tsolid

          Typical coward.. Always have comments about EVERY other team, but gets SENSITIVE when people say something negative about that TERRIBLE team in Cleveland. You’re a loser

          • sufferfortribe

            Who’s sensitive? You’re the one who feels the need to attack every comment that I make.
            As for coward, any time, buttercup.

  2. TheTruth12

    The Steelers future is not bright to say the least, Big Ben is only gonna be there another season or 2 they trade AB and they have Juju and????? The Bengals of all teams shut Juju down imagine what good teams will do! Bottom line is you can not replace a 100 catch 1,300 yard and 15 TD receiver easily if at all. People talk about the Patriots dynasty being over but if we’re being honest the Steelers “dynasty” is over, without AB they’re third in their division.

    • JJB0811

      Don’t forget Bell’s numbers are gone as well. They may as well do a tag on Bell and trade him. Get something this year rather than a comp pick next year.

      • deal1122

        Lol you watched what the Steelers RBs produce this year right? Conner is starting in the Pro Bowl

    • b.kline

      Have the Steelers really been a dynasty in the last few decades? 3 SB appearances and 2 wins are good but they’ve benefited from a fairly weak division

      • deal1122

        Also wrong, the last decade or so, it’s taken an average of 11.5 wins to win the division… with the exception of the browns, 3 teams have been good almost every year.

      • b24brando

        The AFC east has been the easiest division. The Bengals and the Ravens are tough almost every year

  3. steelerbravenation

    Nobody will want Bell on a QB tag the best you gonna get is that 3.
    Pitt gotta get that number 2 from San Fran & if it means giving up AB & the #20 then that’s what gotta happen. Maybe flip 2nd rounders with them too. Then they trade that 2 to a team that needs a qb for a ton of picks. Having multiple guys playing significant roles on rookie contracts will help absorb the AB cap hit.

    • SheltonMatthews

      You’re dreaming pretty hard if you think the Niners are going to give up the #2 overall pick for Brown. He’s great, but you don’t get value like that in the NFL, even with them swapping back the #20. Swapping a 2nd for Brown and a 4th sounds about the best case scenario at this point. He’s on a huge deal, they both clearly want this split, and he’s on the wrong side of his career arc. Every team would love to have him, but the value just isn’t there.

      • steelerbravenation

        Supply and demand it’s gonna come down to who wants him the most and is willing to give up the most to get him. WRs with numbers like him are not made available everyday and his contract is a bargain for the team getting him. His cap hits come in the form of his signing bonus which Pitt has already paid. They eat the dead cap hits over the next 2 years. $12 million is far from a burden for the team getting him for the production they will get.
        I feel a team in the late 1st will offer a pick to get him. SF 2nd rounder won’t be good enough. Maybe they add more to that to persuade the Steelers over another team.

  4. bigeasye

    The Steelers have drafted
    Hines Ward
    Mike Wallace
    Emmanuel Sanders
    Antonio Brown
    JuJu Smith-Schuster
    I think they know how to identify and develop receiver talent. I think they’ll figure it out.

    • tsolid

      How is Bell a diva? Did he go out seeking interviews, talk bad about his teammates? Oh, Because he made a business decision to look out for his future, he a diva? Ever person in the world that makes a business decision should be considered a diva then. 9-6-1 is really a terrible implosion. Keep wishing though.

  5. rkmarx

    3 of the biggest divas in football are on the same team (3 B’s), and they have no accountability because they have no leadership. Does anybody else love watching this implosion?

  6. forwhomjoshbelltolls

    ““I’m very disappointed in where we are and what happened and don’t have a lot of good explanations for it,” said Rooney.”

    Au contraire…there are a lot of good explanations for it.

    He’s surrounded by users and bad advice, he was never very bright to begin with and now he’s got CTE on top of it.

    • crosseyedlemon

      Problems in Pittsburgh will only get worse until Rooney wakes up and realizes he has to bring the franchise culture out of the dark ages. We are not in the 70s anymore and throwing money at a player is not an acceptable substitute for giving them respect. Today players expect both.

      • steelerbravenation

        I would bet the players from the 70s don’t believe they were just thrown money. The Rooney’s are fine. Tomlin is the problem. Like Bradshaw says he wants to be their friend. And Ben may be an even bigger problem. You don’t see Brady or Belicek act like these 2 clowns and that’s why they win consistently every year.

      • forwhomjoshbelltolls

        You are right about their need to modernize, but wrong to say they didn’t show him respect.

        They reworked his contract year after year giving him extra money that they didn’t have to give him before making him the highest paid WR ever. Then, when he began doing bizarre things and not showing up for camp or (later) practice, they tried to hide his behavior and shield him from public scorn.

        Aside from eventually admitting that he won’t show up or call them, not sure what you can try to claim as disrespect.

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