Steelers Don’t Plan To Release Antonio Brown, Says President Art Rooney II
Steelers president Art Rooney II told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Thursday that the team will not release Brown but “all other options are on the table.” Rooney added that it would be “hard to envision Brown” with the team when training camp starts in July. According to the article, Brown has been AWOL since December 30, unable to be reached by Pittsburgh’s front office or coaching staff. Brown has also refused calls from Rooney and head coach Mike Tomlin.
The situation first erupted when Brown missed the team’s December 30 season finale, one in which they were fighting for a playoff spot, due to a dispute with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Younger wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was also voted the team MVP, which might have additionally contributed to Brown’s blowup.
Pittsburgh will consider trade offers for Brown in the next few weeks. However, the Steelers face a $21 million salary cap hit if they trade him this offseason. That’s between 8 to 10 percent of the team’s salary cap. However, no moves can be made until the new NFL year starts on March 13. Rooney said the cap hit will not play into the team’s decision.
Brown may be the worst negotiator in history. Even if Roethlisberger has a history of locker room issues, which he might, the Steelers have constantly sided with the quarterback. At his own position, Brown lines up next to a younger and cheaper receiver in Smith-Schuster. He was already on thin ice before beginning to blow up. There were numerous speeding tickets for driving 100-plus miles per hour. There was the Facebook Live locker room incident. Then, he tossed furniture from a balcony and nearly killed a toddler.
Wide receivers are not worth the trouble they often bring. Brown certainly isn’t. The “Killer B’s” era is coming to an end in Pittsburgh. Le’veon Bell will walk in free agency. Big Ben is 36 years old. As for Brown, there is no way he stays in that locker room. The three Pro-Bowlers will walk away empty-handed.