Ryan Clark has long known that the Antonio Brown the public sees is much different than the Antonio Brown his teammates see. After one of Brown’s outbursts, during the 2017 season, Clark unloaded on Brown. In the aftermath of Monday’s shocking tale of thrown footballs and missed practices and trumped-up injuries to cover it all up, Clark revisited his thoughts on Brown.
And Clark now believes it’s time for the Steelers to move on from Brown.
“When it comes to just being a good teammate, when it comes to just being supportive, understanding that you’re trying to achieve one goal, that doesn’t matter to him,” Clark said of Brown, in an appearance on SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt. “What matters to him is 19 attempts, 14 catches, 185 yards, two touchdowns against the Saints. That’s what’s important to Antonio Brown.”
Clark thinks that, at this point, the only solution is to trade Brown to a new franchise.
“This is about the fabric of the team,” Clark said. “This is about the guy that goes Facebook Live as your coach is talking and leaks information out of the locker room that never should be there, this is about the guy that publicly talks about not getting the ball or issues with the offensive coordinator, knocks over garbage cans or knocks over Gatorade bottles and cans because he doesn’t get the rock. At some point, when you’re an organization that’s built on team, organization that’s built on integrity, you have to show the rest of the locker room that. Will he be good going forward? Probably so. But you have to take that stand.”
“You’re saying shop him?” Van Pelt asked.
“You have to,” Clark said. “It’s time to go.”
As mentioned on Monday, the cap charge for trading Brown would be crippling, in excess of $21 million. But there’s one caveat. The Steelers could trade him after June 1 and reduce the cap charge to $7.04 million, with $14.08 million hitting the cap in 2019.
Ideally, a new team would get Brown for the bulk of the offseason program. But getting him in June would give a new team a minicamp (at a minimum) and all of training camp.