If Steelers receiver Antonio Brown‘s latest incident traces to the team vote that made receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster the 2018 team MVP (and multiple sources tell PFT it did), here’s a question that others with prominent jobs in the NFL are asking: Why do the Steelers vote for a team MVP before the season has ended?
(The broader question is why vote for a team MVP at all? Not every team does.)
Nothing good comes from naming a team MVP before the season ends. In contrast, nothing bad comes from not naming a team MVP until the season ends.
So why do the Steelers do it? It’s apparently been part of the fabric of the organization for so long that no one ever asked, “Why are we doing this with games left?”
Someone should be asking that now.
The Steelers should be doing more than asking the question. They should resolve the question by simply waiting.
If the outcome of the vote did indeed spark Brown’s walkout, what would have happened if the Steelers had simply waited to take the vote? Maybe an eruption was inevitable. Maybe it wasn’t. Regardless, the added ingredient became the spark, and without the spark maybe the fire never starts.
While coach Mike Tomlin bears no responsibility for the timing — voting on the award predated his arrival — nothing has stopped him from taking a step back and saying, “Maybe we should wait on this.”
Now, there’s no maybe to it. The Steelers shouldn’t vote on an MVP until every game has been played, and that should be one of the first changes Tomlin implements.