Latest On Antonio Brown

Steelers owner Art Rooney II and wide receiver Antonio Brown will meet in Florida in an effort to clear the air, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. Initially, Brown was hesitant to meet, but this could be a big step towards reconciliation for the two sides. 

Brown has not been bashful about airing his grievances in public and has let the world know that he wants a trade. If things can’t be worked out quickly, trade discussions could ramp up during the draft combine period in Indianapolis.

The Steelers are reluctant to trade Brown because he is one of the game’s best wide receivers and dealing him would result in a major dead money cap charge. Meanwhile, word on the street is that they are unlikely to even fetch a first-round pick for him.

Of course, Brown has not done himself any favors by saying he wants a new deal if traded. The Steelers have lost a great deal of leverage over the past couple of months thanks to Brown’s outspokenness and the Steelers proved their mettle last year when they held their ground in the Le’Veon Bell standoff. Ultimately, the Steelers may be willing to play a game of chicken with Brown until he’s willing to mend fences with Ben RoethlisbergerMike Tomlin, and other key figures in the organization.

One way or another, we should have a resolution by March 17, when Brown is due a $2.5MM roster bonus. If he is still on the Steelers’ roster on March 18, then he is likely to still be on it come Week 1.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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29 comments on “Latest On Antonio Brown

  1. mbgutt

    Hope the keep him, then sit him. Going to get a 21 million dollar cap hit anyways, sitting him will kill him…. he will do something to get suspended and then avoid the cap hit.

    • dave13

      Brown isn’t going to do something to get suspended if he is being benched that would result in a long term suspension. I mean domestic violence carries 6 games or less. Any event if he is suspended by the team or NFL for a game or even a few that doesn’t cancel out the cap hit. The Steelers would still have the cap hit on their books.. also they will be subjecting themselves to a grievance and lawsuit by Brown and the NFLPA if they deliberately sit him while he’s healthy. Tough argument on Steelers side to say there’s 4 other WRs on the roster better than Brown

      • Julio Franco's Birth Certificate

        You are completely allowed under the CBA to not dress a player each week, so long as you pay their salary. That’s Antonio’s future for at least 2019.

  2. Julio Franco's Birth Certificate

    Antonio is way overplaying his hand here if he won’t even talk with the owner.

    Steelers really have no incentive to deal him. A $21 million cap hit either way, play for Pittsburgh, some other team, or no one.

    It’s looking more and more likely like a suspension/holdout with Antonio collecting no money this year and collecting no stats while he sits at home all year.

    And he definitely will have earned that.

    • Julio Franco's Birth Certificate

      And, to top it off, he’s going to learn what that whole “Tolling” provision is in his contract. Which means another year just got added onto the end of it.

      I completely think this is a money thing with him – he sees one last opportunity to force a cut, so he can negotiate a new contract somewhere with an all-new signing bonus.

      Steelers really should just let him rot on the Inactive List every week.

    • TJECK109

      He would have to sit out multiple years based on the length of contract and thus not being paid as well

  3. dugdog83

    He’s staying with Steelers. Other teams will only low ball Pittsburgh and they aren’t gonna cut him.

    • TheTruth12

      The only team that wouldn’t low ball they already said they won’t trade with so I mean they can either get something for him or take the hit, while he watches them miss the playoffs again

  4. steelman

    kardashian news oh I mean Steeler news of the day. Brown not happy wants to be traded. Under contract and he is the employee. Don’t work you do not get paid. He doesn’t dictate what the Steelers organization does or doesn’t. The tail cannot wag the big dog.

    • HubcapDiamondStarHalo

      Don’t count your chickens before they hatch! We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it! Save it for a rainy day!

  5. TheTruth12

    Steelers org and their fans really are classless huh? The man has played for your team 9 seasons, 7 of which have been 1,000 receiving yards, 6 of which have been 100 catch seasons. Be greatful for what he has done and move on. There’s a reason why the people saying just sit him the entire season, or trade him for lesser picks aren’t GMs and never will be. Unlike some of the people on here Rooney realizes how important AB is to the team or else he wouldn’t constantly be trying to meet him, but it’s to the point where it’s clear he doesn’t want to play and won’t meet so trade him and be done with it.

    • Wolf Hoffmann

      How did you come up with this? Because he played well for them in the past he is somehow immune to criticism for his current idiocy? AB is a Steeler’s employee. He signed the contract. They can sit him if they want to as long as he get’s paid. They are going to get the cap hit either way. If they can get a good trade offer then they should do it. If not they should just sit him on the sidelines for 16 games.

  6. padam

    I’m a Steelers fan and tired of reading about him daily. He signed the contract. Second highest at his position. Respect the contract, or sit and don’t get paid. I’m hoing the Steelers trade his a$$. Done with him and others who think they’re entitled.

    • connfyoozed

      I’m also a Steeler fan and tired of this. Usually I try to at least understand where a player is coming from if he demands a new contract because sometimes that’s the only leverage he has. AB has been one of the best for years and should be paid as such… BUT, when you effectively quit in your team during preparations for a must-win game, then refuse to even return calls and texts from your employer who is wanting to work things out, I have zero sympathy. If AB is willing to man up and admit that he has been handling this situation the wrong way, maybe this can be rectified. It doesn’t do the Steelers any good to keep him and bench him; they either need to work things out at this meeting, or decide what value they want in a trade for him and work on getting it as quickly as possible.

    • cka2nd

      “Respect the contract” is meaningless in a NFL where every off-season, players are forced to restructure their contracts. Teams don’t respect contracts, so why should players?

  7. Munsonmanor4

    So, he gets to quit on his teammates, trash them on the internet, demand a trade, destroy his own value that the organization can get for him in a trade, and they are just supposed to take it up the rear and give him what he wants? Don’t think so. He wants to break records on the field. If I’m Rooney, I sit him down and explain a few things to him. First, the Steelers will do everything they can to trade him, BUT if they don’t get a certain level of draft picks/players in return that meets their satisfaction, he will remain a Steeler. He will mend fences with Tomlin and Ben, which I’m sure all three have done some things wrong in this chain of events to tick off the other, but they will ALL work through it for the greater good. If he won’t, he will continue to draw a paycheck and he will play to rebuild his value and stay off the internet to help in that endeavor. If he won’t, he will remain on the sidelines until he does. He wants to act like a petulant child throwing a temper tantrum, by God, he would be treated as such.

    • ctside26

      Great analysis – You get paid to play and sit if the Steelers decide that’s best for the organization.

      Antonio is one of the all-time greats at his position but I hate is self serving attitude – IMO he’s one of the reasons the Steelers continue to under-achieve!

    • TheTruth12

      So Big Ben gets to openly trash AB, threaten retirement every offseason, be a rapist, be a horrible teammate and leader for years and is in extension talks so I wonder where AB got the idea that he can make them take it up the rear and do what he wants.

      • Munsonmanor4

        Never said Big Ben was a saint. He has trashed several teammates on his radio program. Retirement is the prerogative of the individual player, so irrelevant. Rapist? Matter of opinion. He hasn’t been prosecuted of anything. Accused of sexual assault? Yes. Ben may not be the best teammate, but he hasn’t QUIT on the team like AB did. Nor has Ben trashed the organization itself. If AB wanted more money on his last contract, should’ve done something about it then. If AB wants to break records ON the field, better be thinking of the consequences of his actions.

  8. crosseyedlemon

    Rooney demanded Brown come to him with an apology and now he finds himself going to Brown in a state of desperation. Being an arrogant owner has it’s price and Rooney still has to get Ben signed..which won’t come cheap if the Steelers two best offensive weapons are no longer around.

  9. cka2nd

    Anyone suggesting the Steelers keep Brown on the active roster but then deactivate him every week is an idiot. He’s your best offensive player, and you’re supposed to keep him on the bench every week and not use him to win games. That’s just plain stupid.

    Of course, Bill Bellichick benched Malcolm Butler for some reason in the Super Bowl two years ago, so arrogant owners, management and coaches are certainly not unknown in the NFL.

    • crosseyedlemon

      The guys who think deactivating the best player each week is a great idea are the ones you want in your fantasy league.

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