Free agent wideout Antonio Brown made headlines once again this offseason with an unexpected message related to his playing career. Earlier this week, he tweeted his desire to retire as a member of the Steelers.
As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes, however, that message wasn’t meant as a request to sign with Pittsburgh now or in the future. The 33-year-old has remained on the open market since his infamous departure from the Buccaneers. Among the reasons for the team cutting him was the status of his injured ankle, which remains an impediment to him being available for the 2022 campaign.
“I need to get my ankle fixed, but I just want to make sure I got an obligation or a commitment from a team”, Brown said in March. “It’s a lot for a guy to go do surgery without an idea of where you gonna work, or who you going to work for.”
As Florio notes, there has been “no talk about any team signing Brown” throughout the offseason, even with the initial waves of free agency and the draft having taken place. The four-time All-Pro produced during his time in Tampa Bay, leaving open the possibility that a receiver-needy team could take a flier on him, but the new-look Steelers offense already features a number of notable pass catchers.
Pittsburgh saw wideouts JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Washington depart in free agency, but added George Pickens during the draft. He will join starters Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool as the Steelers transition into the post-Ben Roethlisberger era. While there would seem to be no interest on the Steelers’ part in a reunion with Brown anyway, then, this situation will remain worth watching if he continues to go unsigned and ultimately decides to end his career.