Bouchette: Antonio Brown’s antics “wearing thin”

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Monday’s leak by the Steelers to the league-owned media conglomerate was no accident. The word is out that the team is getting flustered with receiver Antonio Brown. And it’s all happening at an ideal time.

The latest piece of evidence comes from Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, who writes in a recap of the team’s objectives for 2017 that “Brown’s antics are wearing thin on some of his teammates and certainly his coaches.”

The criticisms of Brown, which he may think are a media creation but clearly trace back to the Steelers, come as he enters the final year of a contract that he has wanted the team to rip up for two years. Instead, they have moved money around in 2015 and 2016, with the understanding that his next big contract will come in 2017.

They’ll surely offer him one, but there’s nothing like a little psychological warfare to soften his expectations. By creating the impression that they’re not happy with Brown, who remains one of the best receivers in the game, they may be able to lock him up for a lot less than he otherwise would want. Indeed, between the Facebook Live fiasco and the notion that he cares too much about stats and was pouting during the Patriots game, the Steelers ultimately could secure his services over the next several years for millions less than they otherwise would have paid.

Or they can sell high, if another team takes the bait (intended or not) and calls to inquire about a possible trade.

Either way, the Steelers didn’t become one of the most successful franchises in football by being dumb. By making their concerns about Brown known to the media and the fans — and to Brown — they’re softening him up to be happy to take their top-dollar offer, even if it’s far less than what he would have liked.

60 responses to “Bouchette: Antonio Brown’s antics “wearing thin”

  1. His antics are pretty tame. It’s not like he’s beating up hookers or something. He’s about to be the highest paid WR ever.

  2. Football is a man’s game and Brown is acting like a child. I’m sure the Steelers would like to move ahead without him.

  3. The Steelers can’t create leverage this way with Brown. He can simply sign for the one year deal and wait one more year for them. The starting point will be what the first two years of the free agency values. They’ll sign him for market value or he walks to another team. He doesn’t need Pittsburgh to be an elite receiver.

  4. I’d rather they kept Brown but the Steelers won’t overpay for him either, that’s not their style. I’m betting that they draft a wr regardless. They won’t trade him either unless it’s a knock out deal.

    Two years ago Pittsburgh lost in the first round of the playoffs. Last year they won one, this year they won two. Pittsburgh was one of the top four teams in the NFL this year and they’re trending upwards with a mostly young team. Can we start next season yet?!

    Go Steelers!

  5. By making their concerns about Brown known to the media and the fans — and to Brown — they’re softening him up to be happy to take their top-dollar offer, even if it’s far less than what he would have liked.
    ~~~~~~
    The flaw in the plan is that players who act like Brown does are already delusional and obsessed with themselves. There is nothing anyone can say that will change his opinion of himself. Anyone that views him critically is just a ‘hater’ or is dumb so he won’t listen and it is much easier for him to discount all criticism. They all tend to do that and he will be no different.

  6. dreadnok89 says:
    Jan 29, 2017 12:08 PM
    Another star who feasts on bum teams but disappears when you need him. Odell beckham lololol. Stickum doesnt work in freezing temps

    You are an idiot he broke just about every receiving record there is to break, Odell can’t beat him on his best day

  7. Maybe they’ll learn from New England and how the Patriots handle personel. They’ve already been schooled by them.

  8. If I’m AB, and I’m reading this, I’m re-thinking my upcoming free agency window.

    Maybe, I’ll take a hard line if I believe the Steelers are laying down some nasty “psychological warfare” on me. Maybe, I give them a taste of their own medicine and have my people leak to the press that I anticipate thoroughly exploring the FA market to get the most $ I can, get on with a much smarter coach and that has the BEST chance to get win a championship in the next 3 years.
    Maybe…

  9. I think the Steelers are just trying to lower his asking price, not trade him. I can’t remember a time when a team leaked negative stories about a player they were interested in trading other than the whole Josh Freeman situation in Tampa.

  10. This is s lose lose proposition for the Steelers. Pay A. Clown too little, they get another disgruntled player who doesn’t care about winning. Pay him what he wants, and you reward his juvenile behavior which is only going to get worse. Fans, your team is imploding and your front office doesn’t have a clue about how to stop it.

  11. What a great strategy. Trash a player you’re hoping to resign in hopes of resigning him to a reduced contract. I’m not so sure that’s the strategy here, honestly. Brown and his agent know what he would command on the open market. Either the Steelers are willing to pay it or they’re not. I doubt talking poorly of him will make him want to stick around at a deal below market value.

  12. tjacks7 says:
    Jan 29, 2017 12:40 PM

    What a great strategy. Trash a player you’re hoping to resign in hopes of resigning him to a reduced contract.

    ———————-

    Letting it known that his antics are wearing thin is far from “trashing” him. Why exaggerate?

  13. This is just typical Ed Bouchette high-horse writing. I am sure a lot of the team is disappointed with the end of the season and Brown deserves some negativity from it. But let’s not overreact. Where would they be if Brown didn’t fight across the goal line against Baltimore?

  14. The Steelers have a young and talented WR group

    How long do they think Ben will play and what is the QB transition plan?

  15. If you pay him you’ve empowered his antics and selfishness; if you don’t pay him he’ll pout next season after which the Steelers will lose him in free agency and possibly get a compensatory 3rd round pick the following year. If the analytics say he’s worth @3 points per game over an average receiver the Steelers need to keep him; if he’s worth less, trade him (I doubt he is more than 1.5 points difference). The Steelers have a Hall of Fame QB so Brown’s production will likely go down if he moves ala Mike Wallace and AB’s antics will become even less acceptable. Unfortunately reality is elusive for some and I fear that AB is one of those people.

  16. Could see this coming a mile away. Though he made it easy for the Steelers for having that Facebook incident that got him some Facebook money.
    If it wasn’t for that there would be some unnamed sources this offseaon concerned about his long term productivity leaking out, to temper the expectations of him and his agent.

    Skilled players that aren’t QB have a shelf life. Underpaid for a couple years, then make up for that with the second contract. The third contract is always the sticky ones. Teams bet the player can’t keep it up for the longer term the player is requesting, and the player thinks he can keep it up and, should get paid a premium for doing so, in addition to the increased mkt.

  17. As good as he is, when Roethlisberger reties after another 2 seasons, Brown will be useless. Let him go break the bank and play for a 6-10 team.

  18. Great Mike, you just gave him their strategy. He’ll probably offer to play for NE for free now.😂

  19. takeyourpunishmentandquitwhininglikeababy says:
    Jan 29, 2017 12:39 PM
    This is s lose lose proposition for the Steelers. Pay A. Clown too little, they get another disgruntled player who doesn’t care about winning. Pay him what he wants, and you reward his juvenile behavior which is only going to get worse. Fans, your team is imploding and your front office doesn’t have a clue about how to stop it.

    **************************************************************************

    Agreed with everything up through the last sentence. It’s one player — doesn’t imply that the entire team is “imploding.” Idiot, knee-jerk comment.

  20. The true question becomes how much is he worth if Ben decides to retire in the next couple of years? Tough to shell out best receiver in football money and have either Landry Jones or a rookie throwing the ball to him.

  21. You can’t pay everyone. The Steelers need to pay Bell and invest in their defensive secondary. Maybe they can get a 2 and a 3 for Brown, which is what the Patriots eventually got out of the Chandler Jones deal (similar circumstances).

  22. The Steelers will sign AB to a long term despite all the drama. Now if the Steelers can draft a wr stud or get Martavis Bryant to contribute like he’s supposed too, Big Ben will be a happy man.

  23. Steelers will do no such thing. We all remember what happened the year prior when Martavis Bryant was on the field with Brown, and Brown went off that year because Bryant was taking away other safeties from covering Brown. The same should happen next year and Brown’s numbers will be too insane for the team to let him go. Don’t see it.

  24. you people are morons. the steelers aren’t saying this because they want a better deal, they’re saying it because it’s true, and they want him to know they’re not afraid to let him walk.

    art will not blink, a.b. cleans it up or 2017 is his last year with a contender

  25. steelcurtainn says:
    Jan 29, 2017 2:28 PM

    The Steelers will sign AB to a long term despite all the drama. Now if the Steelers can draft a wr stud or get Martavis Bryant to contribute like he’s supposed too, Big Ben will be a happy man.
    ————————————————————-
    He’ll be a happy man, and they still won’t be able to put up 20 points against a good team.

  26. Trade him to the Vikings. By 2018 they’ll have some draft choices again to trade to the Steelers.

    Then we’ll really get a chance to see how good Brown is with the sorry state of the QB position in Minny.

  27. All this gossip. Reminds me of Pulp Fiction. “When you little scamps get together, you’re worse than a sewing circle.”

  28. The Steelers didn’t get curb stomped at Foxborough because of Antonio Brown’s antics. Poor coaching and game planning were bigger factors.

  29. Typical Steeler propaganda. Until lately all I heard was how hard he worked, wanted to be the best, etc.
    Last time Steelers pulled this they lost Sanders, which was OK because they had Brown. If they lose Brown who do they rely on? Bryant? who may not even be eligible next season?
    If they can’t afford him then they can’t afford him. But this kind of thing is strictly bush league. Not even the Patriots stoop to this kind of nonsense.

  30. Yea, he’s just like TO, the hardest working guy on the team. Who was the one wanting softer practice and who looks out of shape, Big Fat Ben. Who looked like they panicked and was rescued from goat horns by drops, Ben. You pay for hard work period.

  31. it is stuff like this that makes my blood boil.

    In 2010, they dumped Santonio Holmes after he got a 4 game suspension, with the justification that he was “one slip away” from a season long ban. guess what? he was never suspended again for drugs, and dumping him left the Steelers with no #2 in the Super Bowl behind Ward.

    fast forward to the present. take a look at the roster. Bryant is a true number 2, but he obviously has no ability to stay clean. Coates was doing ok until he broke his fingers, and suddenly can’t catch anything. All the other WRs are no better than 3s.

    So you’re telling me you’d be willing to jettison a true #1, by making mountains out of molehills just to save a few dollars? you realize you were 1 game away from the SB, right? true number 1s don’t grow on trees. yea, he may act silly at times, but he works harder than nearly anyone on the team. I’ll gladly put up with that, and not take 8 steps backwards for no good reason.

  32. The Steelers will sign AB to a long term despite all the drama. Now if the Steelers can draft a wr stud or get Martavis Bryant to contribute like he’s supposed too, Big Ben will be a happy man.
    ————————————————————-
    He’ll be a happy man, and they still won’t be able to put up 20 points against a good team.
    ___________________

    Never say won’t Carloslassiter, its the NFL where anything can happen, like the pats losing this week. Big Ben’s won 2 superbowls, he sure as heck can put up 20 points or more and win another.

  33. They are not obligated to pay him anything more then what his contract calls for. I’d let him play it out. He’s going into year 8. No need to commit for five years.

  34. wrongowright says:
    Jan 29, 2017 11:46 AM

    The Steelers can’t create leverage this way with Brown. He can simply sign for the one year deal and wait one more year for them. The starting point will be what the first two years of the free agency values. They’ll sign him for market value or he walks to another team. He doesn’t need Pittsburgh to be an elite receiver.
    _________________________________________

    Neither did Mike Wallace or Santanio Holmes…………

  35. Wallace and Holmes weren’t as good as Brown. Holmes was gone and they still had Wallace. They let Wallace walk because they had Brown. Now, there isn’t anyone on the roster to fill the void.

  36. I am a bengal fan, so this is tough to say.

    The Steelers organization is too smart to try to do this. Last time I checked Browns agent is Drew Rosenhaus. Do you really think he would let his client believe anything other than his value is tied to his stats? He will become easily one of the hieghest paid players in the NFL. Since it has been a few years since AJ, Jones, Dez, and Thomas deals he will most likely be the highest paid WR.

    This is just a story trying to get hits. Nothing to see here.

  37. Run ouuta town Antonio….you got liars and poor coaching to contend with here….Go out a winner, leave pittsburgh.
    we got Bell, who was suspended TWICE, hurting the team, and their talking about your ANTICCS?….LEAVE PITTSBURGH FOR A WINNER

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