Antonio Brown complains about having “no leverage”

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Get ready for the shirtless driveway sit-ups and the “next question” press conferences.

Much of the week has been dominated by the question of whether the Steelers still want receiver Antonio Brown. The equally important question is whether Brown still wants the Steelers.

Early Saturday morning on Twitter, Brown made this statement: “System where you have no leverage.” The comment came while retweeting a Sporting News story regarding Peter King’s comment from Friday’s PFT Live that King removed Brown from King’s All-Pro ballot after he went AWOL before the Week 17 game against the Bengals..

Brown surely wasn’t referring to the “system” of voting on the All-Pro team. Brown was referring to the “system” that is the business relationship between NFL player and NFL team.

He’s wrong about having no leverage. He has limited leverage, and he’s previously chosen not to use it. On two separate occasions during his career, Brown opted to sign lucrative extensions. Most recently, he signed a deal early in the 2017 offseason, with one year remaining on his contract. No one forced him to sign either of those contracts; he could have played them out, collected franchise-tag salaries for two seasons, and then hit the open market.

And Brown already knows this, unless he hasn’t been paying attention to his own locker room. Running back Le'Veon Bell used his leverage in 2017 (by staying away while under the tag until Week One) and in 2018 (by skipping the whole season). Bell will hit the open market in March.

Brown, now 30, will have a hard time pulling that off. He’s under contract for three more years. He’s only getting to the market if he gets cut. And trying to get cut could be his next move.

Thus, 14 years after T.O. made a conscious decision to do what he had to do to get the Eagles to cut or trade him (it eventually worked), Brown could be thinking about doing the same thing. Which means that we’ll now wait for the next development in the NFL’s latest “next question” drama.

93 responses to “Antonio Brown complains about having “no leverage”

  1. A word to Antonio Clown 🤡,,we as fans are not interested in you we are only interested in the players that are in the 2018 NFL PLAYOFFS

  2. Are fans coming to the conclusion that idiots like this are no longer worth the price of admission?

    Go pound sand entirely Antonio Brown

  3. The Steelers are a funny little team.
    Zero-discipline whiners— from the top, down.
    Cellar-dwellers of their division next year,(if Cinci can win 5 games).

  4. The “system” where Brown has the least leverage is the one that operates inside his own head.

  5. I love it when these self-centered prima donna’s manuever thenselves right out of the game. Good.

  6. Him saying he has no leverage just show out of touch and clueless some of these guys are. They should thank their lucky stars they are good at football. Which I think that will be something that AB will learn in a few years from now, when the endorsements all go away and they wonder why because they probably thought they got those because of who they are not for the fact that being good at football was the reason.

  7. I used to respect Brown. I love players that come up from within, no expectations, and turn out great. Cruz, Edelman, Brown, Lindsay (to name very few).

    This year has been an eye opener about Brown, and it’s very disappointing that he’s turned out to be this way.

  8. Steelers rid themselves of another “Me” player in Bell and they should do the same with Brown. His attitude will help tear the locker room apart in the future as it did this year. Steelers should take note of another AFC team that likes to get rid of players a year early instead of a year late.

  9. And this is why I have grown tired of the NFL. I have no problem that these players make an exhohorabant amount of money, it’s free commerce. But the constant temper tantrums and acting like a petulant child is ridiculous.

    Everyone in the world has to work with people they don’t like. Most have bosses (ie coaches) they may not care for. But you signed a contract or collec a paycheck to shut up and come to work. New flash AB the Steelers had the same coach and QB when you chose to sign your extensions. If you didn’t like those men, don’t sign them and move on.

  10. A.B. Please shut up. The Steelers will trade you if they get a return. But don’t make it harder for them. Heck, you might even get a new deal.

  11. Gee- Another Diva WR! Are we done with this type yet? How about take your millions, be a team player, catch the ball, hand it to the ref and go back to the huddle. Wanna know why people are turning away- this is the reason. Nobody cares AB. When the GMs around the league turn their back on people like you, the game will be better off. If only!

  12. I want to be a free agent but I want $30 mil signing bonuses and the ability to be a free agent every year. The guy is just dumb and shows it each time he opens his mouth. You don’t like it, go year to year or two years like Revis used to do. Bet on yourself. You are the greatest ever, right?

  13. Rooney really should buy a vineyard. Steelers would make a fortune selling their whine.

  14. Ah, I remember when my Eagles had a diva WR issue. It’s nice to see another PA team have to deal with it. In the case of our diva WR, he bit the hand that fed him (McNabb is the one that lobbied for the team to get him) and never experienced another playoff game again in his career.

    Antonio worked his way to the top; father abandoned his family, was temporarily homeless, had unsurprising schooling issues because of it, worked his way through prep school to get to college so I’m not going to call him spoiled. However I will say he has clearly been in his unchecked bubble for too long and is letting his ego go out of control. He can easily find himself in T.Os shoes. Still good, still making money, still having a HOF career but never getting to the promised land again.

  15. Oops. Should have thought of that before you threw a football at your QB over not being voted team MVP for the fourth time.

  16. Players want long-term security (hence when the hate the franchise tag) but sometimes, once they get it, then they lament the loss of leverage. Ultimately they are never happy.

    The NFLPA should do a better job of educating their constituents so they understand the pros and cons of each side.

  17. Diva. Great talent, but thinks the world owes him everything. To much of this crap going on in this sport these days.

  18. He will not even bring a 1st round pick. Over 30 and without Ben overrated. If you trade him he needs to go to Tampa, Buffalo, Washington or Arizona even if that means for a lesser return.

  19. the steelers could have missed the Playoffs as well without brown, so obviously he didnt help the team much.

  20. He probably gets out of Pittsburg but at what cost? The team will lose a great talent and Brown will lose as well. He could end up in a situation where he plays with another elite QB he could end up playing with Bortles or Carr or another run-of-the-mill average joe. I doubt he goes to a great team because great teams don’t bring in the Antonio Browns of the NFL. With every childish comment and stupid stunt he pulls he hurts the team trading him, tarnishes his brand and reduces the number of teams that will want him. At the end of the day Meveon and Brown will likely go to a losing team and receive less money doing it. Brown may not though because – he already got his upfront money. I’m starting to think the bonus money is a license to be a turd.

  21. Of course he has leverage. There has never been a good wr in the league before him and there will surely never be one after… oh wait, that’s right.

    Both sides have leverage. Your performance and free agency are your leverage..: talented players via college or another team are any teams leverage. It’s a decent system.

    I can’t stress this enough. If players had Kyle Williams approach (insert name of any other similar guy) the product would be better and multi million dollar athletes wouldn’t act like they are trying out for a remake of mean girls.

    Grow a pair Antonio.

  22. Until some time goes by and then there is a private sit down with say Ben and JuJu to have a chat, the words mean little. There are clearly raw emotions that I think flow from the MVP fiasco. And a snowball.

    I would hate to see him end up on the No one in their right mind thinks Brown is anything less than an incredible receiver with an extraordinary work ethic. Probably a bit quirky and self absorbed. But when you work harder than everyone else, and your on field performance is spectacular … Hard not to be. Hard not to look at the guys who are not working as hard and feel a bit short changed by your team mates.

    Ask yoursrlf this … Is Antonio acting spoiled or are his team mates letting him down by not putting in the same effort to be winners. I love his team mates but … Why are Ben JuJu the o line,the defense (especially the defence) not working as hard as Brown? Who is the spoiled one?

  23. I paid $600 for 2 tickets, parking, and all for December 30 game. I am disappointed in Antonio Brown’s antics the past ten days. I am not likely to shell out money like this again.
    I am disappointed in the Steelers and the NFL about Brown, and Bell, too.
    I want Brown to donate his week 17 paycheck to charity.

  24. Leverage for what? Acting foolishly without consequence? It certainly can’t be a money thing as he makes quite a bit of cash. There has been no financial issue with him this year. It is all about his immature feelings of being “disrespected”. Here’s the deal AB, if you think recognizing a teammate for his contributions is somehow disrespectful to you then you deserve no respect at all because your whining is, in your own messed up mentality, disrespectful to him. Go ahead and act out to the point the Steelers can cut you and then go after some of that bonus money you already spent. It is time for a diva lesson. Blaze that trail with your ex-teammate, Bell, and see where you wind up in 5 years. Go ahead. Many fans are fed up with attitudes like that and it is high time these clowns are publicly put in their place.

  25. Another clueless dude. You give up leverage when you sign a long term deal. Either his agent didn’t explain that or he didn’t listen. If your life is so bad, quit football and work in the real world. Million dollar talent, one cent brain.

  26. Usually, I think agents get a lot of $ and seem overpaid…however, with Antonio Clown here his agent is earning every $$ and probably underpaid. Dude throws things off balconies and is a constant diva. His agent probably cringes every time the phone rings

  27. If I were the owner I would suspend AB for conduct detrimental to the team for all next year with no pay. See if he likes that.

  28. Tomlin lost the locker room a long time ago. This is just residual fallout starting to surface. First Bell and now Brown, with others to follow.

  29. Uh, how much more money does AB have more than the average American? Yeah, we’re not going to have pity for him signing multi year contracts for millions and then trying to get of it by acting the fool.

  30. nflgm says:
    January 5, 2019 at 9:44 am
    If I were the owner I would suspend AB for conduct detrimental to the team for all next year with no pay. See if he likes that.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Can’t. 4 games max

  31. Glorydays says:
    January 5, 2019 at 9:45 am
    Tomlin lost the locker room a long time ago. This is just residual fallout starting to surface. First Bell and now Brown, with others to follow.

    I don’t think the Bell and Brown situations are similar. Brown is under contract, Bell is not. Now those offensive linemen running their mouths about another man’s money – that’s an example of Tomlin having no control over his locker room.

  32. Waaaa… Waaaaa…. Waaaaaa……. I am soooooo sick and tired of these pro athletes who make millions of dollars complaining about stuff like this.
    The fact is, these guys have been coddled their whole sporting life because they were better than everyone else at playing a game. We all know they get special treatment from high school on. In college, it’s been a known fact forever that the only thing they have to study is their play book.
    So get real, Antonio Brown. You have worked hard to become one of the best wide receivers in football, and I’m not for one second diminishing that. But millions of people in other lines of work work just as hard as you do and are fighting every day to stay one step ahead of the bill collectors. And they will do that for the rest of their lives because they won’t have all those millions you will have to keep living the high life. If you are smart, that is.
    So — sit out, ask to be traded so you can cause trouble somewhere else, or quit for all I care. Some day I think you’re going to wake up and realize just how fortunate you were and how you almost blew it.
    I’m glad Florio mentioned Terrell Owens. He is a perfect example of a guy who blew it. Reports are that he wasted so much money, that’s why he has practically begged to get another opportunity in the NFL when he’s pushing 40 years old. I don’t feel one bit sorry for him, either. He did it all to himself, just like you.

  33. Three weeks ago, Steelers’ fans were bragging their mouths off about Antonio 🤡 Little Ben, and JuJu Smith-Fumble. Today, they are wallowing in a sea of self pity as they set themselves in front of the TV to watch the Texans and the Colts in the playoffs, two of the six AFC teams with better records than the Steelers. Bet they wish they could replay the beat downs they suffered at the hands of the Chiefs, Raiders, Chargers, Broncos, Ravens, and Saints. But they can’t!! Hahahaha! ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL???

  34. Ok, then get a figure in your head and quarter it. Then hit him with it 4 times, problem solved. We all know his actions will only get worse if he starts to feel disrespected and his wallet starts getting a little lighter. In a sense, give the diva some rope and let him do the dirty work for you.

  35. NFL Players lack the leverage of their counter parts in the NBA or MLB because their careers are so much shorter. I’m far more likely to strike if I have a 10-15 year career compared to a 5-9 year career.
    Injury risk is much higher in the NFL, so players are willing to sign deals a year before their contract expires. Look at it this way – if I’ve earned 5 million, I’m ok taking 50MM for sure rather than risking a year of injury but the upside is 60MM. For me 50MM is all I need, and I don’t want that injury risk. Getting paid 12.5MM a year instead of 14MM a year isn’t that big a deal.If you earn 100MM vs 115MM, are you really any worse off? Is there anything the 115 guy can buy that you can’t? A 5th house? a 10th car?

    Antonio Clown ha sit all and is still unhappy. Too bad for him. Others have so much less and are happier.

  36. see ya Antonio…
    we should use the Stains model…sux for 20 yrs…Pick top 3 every year and maybe one day (possibly today) you are on the right path…we could then have losers show up wearing dog masks….

  37. Antonio Brown can kick rocks.

    Don’t get me wrong, guys holdout, whine not getting the ball or being “appreciated” all the time; like it or not that behavior has become woven into the fabric of the game. But when he referred to Ryan Clark as an Uncle Tom that took it to another level for me.

    As unrealistic as it is I hope Brown never touches the field again until he apologizes.

  38. If someone hands you $100 million and you throw it away. Don’t blame it on the system. These guys don’t understand the system. The system is all about money. The owners will let you get away with anything, as long as it puts money in their pockets. The fans have a hand in this too. The fans generally take the side of the players, but only to a certain extent. Fans are usually fans of the team first, then the players. So the fans (and the owners are listening to the fans) will fight for the players until they walk out on their team. Then the fans side with the owners. That’s why strikes and walkouts don’t work. Even lockouts by the owners don’t work. Most fans are living paycheck to paycheck. They buy jerseys and memorabilia with that hard earned money. They love their teams’ colors. Players can come and go. I’m sure Antonio’s agent and others have tried to explain this system to him. Perhaps he wasn’t listening. Antonio probably thinks he’s the Pittsburgh Steelers. Seriously. He probably does. Maybe he even figured he’d have more clout without Le’Veon Bell. If I was as good as Antonio I might be just as bad, so I do understand where he’s coming from. But anyway, that’s the way the system works. By the way, do you realize how many WR’s out there would give anything to be able to take the field with a QB as good as Ben Roethlisberger? Ask Mike Wallace.

  39. 17 million a year is why you have very little “leverage”. You got the big money and now you’re melting down like a small child. Shameful and disgusting

  40. The sheer stupidity of players at times amazes me. You are an employee under contract. May want to have an agent explain what a contractual agreement means. No leverage. Whatever, man.

  41. From this point on when I see Antonio Brown in the headlines I’ll just pass. So tired of reading about this prima Dona narcissist. The dude can catch but he’s also lucky he’s had a QB who can throw. I hope he ends up somewhere with a subpar QB who can’t get him the ball. Maybe then he’ll be just a little thankful for what he had. But then again probably not.

  42. You’re a multi-millionaire and you’re complaining about the system? Yeah, the average fan can relate to that. Clown!!!!

  43. Entitled punk. People in today’s society always has to blame someone else or the system. It’s never your own fault you signed the contracts.

  44. He has some leverage to get away from the Steelers. Problem is, using that leverage will make him appear cancerous to every other NFL team. Thus, unless he wants to try out the XFL or Canada he doesn’t have much real leverage at all.

  45. jacktatum32 – AB’s agent doesn’t cringe at all when AB contacts him. AB’s agent is Drew Rosenhaus, who was TO’s agent. This is being orchestrated by Rosenhaus.

  46. The man is so narcissistic that he has no idea how big a fool he is… he has probably surrounded himself with sycophants who support his every inane utterance.

  47. The team has been very, very good to Brown. They worked with him, restructuring and giving him money up front, making him the highest paid WR in the game, featuring him in the offense and all the while tolerating his behavior. This is how he repays them. I dont think he realizes how good he has it. Hes lost his teammates and the support of the most stable and decorated organization in the league. All for what, because he felt the least bit slighted. Time to love on while his value is still high. The Steelers will save about a million by trading him. They can absorb the cap hit and he will being at least a first rounder in return. Put Tomlin and his staff on notice for this debacle, trade Brown and add some pieces in the draft and FA.

  48. Trade him the Patriots if he is such a cancer. Steelers get a first round pick and take one from the Patriots.

    Never going to happen because they know Brown can be a franchise player with another team, just like Moss was after leaving Oakland for New England.

    Mike most relationships, there is responsibility for it not working on both sides but virtually everyone above only want to blame Brown.

  49. The Steelers had been one of the best teams in the NFL at letting guys go to free agency and living very well off the compensatory picks but for some reason they let the situation with both Bell and Brown hurt the team. They could have traded either guy for a boatload but instead have tried to give Bell no contract and keep Brown despite his diva tendencies. They allowed their players be a collection of stars instead of a “team”. The team often plays lethargic early in the game expecting they can just turn it on late. Their coach looks scared in the fourth quarter. They didn’t deserve to be in the playoffs this year and that’s not on just Bell nor Brown. It’s on the organization

  50. More self indulged, self important athlete of today, Brown and Bell will not be missed in Pittsburgh, disrespect to his team mates, lying to coaches and owners, not showing up for MRI’s now he runs his big twitter mouth, no leverage league. Owners wise up continue to have these types players be your headlines the stadiums will begin to have more empty seats.

  51. Well assuming that Ben will call it quits after next season I personally think AB84 should find him a new home. In The Burgh no one quits and he did. He’ll be 30-31 y/o next season and if he’s lucky he’ll find him a young QB to play ball with for the next 4 or 5 years and retire. Besides this past year showed signs of slowing down. Take a top pic in this years or next years draft to get a QB to replace Ben. The future is ahead with a Top QB pick, JuJu, and who knows who else. Pittsburgh is known to always grade high in the drafts and produce star receivers and RB’s. Thanks for the excitement AB but sorry you’ll be released and replaced in a year or two.

  52. “More self indulged, self important athlete of today” . . .

    The NFL is corporate socialism. Owners can not lose financially. Even the worst owners, with the worst organizations, make boatloads of money, especially in franchise valuations. The idea that fans are going stop buying the product because of diva players is ludicrous. It could be hurt by cultural changes and young people losing interest in the game but there is no evidence of that happening anytime soon but interest in the league may have plateaued.

    One of the most revealing statements on our culture is how fans call out players personally, attack their character, and call them overpaid while giving owners a pass. Fans sit back and watch owners demand financial concessions from local governments to stay in their cities. The cost of infrastructure to support stadiums is astronomical. NFL owners move their teams to other cities when they don’t get what they demand, charge exorbitant prices for seats (no matter the quality of the product on the field), food and souvenirs,and make season ticket holders buy tickets to “exhibition games”. The NFL encourages periodic franchise moves to keep all of the host cities in line.

    Fanatics (aka fans) keep talking like they are in control and will vote with “empty seats”. Sorry, but next to organized religion the NFL is the most protected private organization in the United States. It’s addictive and most fans can’t just walk away.

  53. Yeah, I bet it sucks when you’re on the cover of Madden, are one of the highest paid WRs in football, had (what would normally be) a Pro Bowl year on the field, you’re adored by the local fanbase, and a billion-dollar franchise goes out of its way to cover up what a childish nutjob you are.

    No leverage at all, no sir. Poor AB.

  54. He can leverage practicing into playing. When he fakes an injury for three days, then has his agent call the coach and announce that he wants to play, he’s not an All Pro.

  55. The largest contracts generally come with the least leverage. In exchange for all that money, the team wants something in return. Why is this so difficult for athletes to understand?

  56. tigerlilac says:
    January 5, 2019 at 12:31 pm
    “More self indulged, self important athlete of today” . . .

    The NFL is corporate socialism. Owners can not lose financially. Even the worst owners, with the worst organizations, make boatloads of money, especially in franchise valuations. The idea that fans are going stop buying the product because of diva players is ludicrous. It could be hurt by cultural changes and young people losing interest in the game but there is no evidence of that happening anytime soon but interest in the league may have plateaued.

    One of the most revealing statements on our culture is how fans call out players personally, attack their character, and call them overpaid while giving owners a pass. Fans sit back and watch owners demand financial concessions from local governments to stay in their cities. The cost of infrastructure to support stadiums is astronomical. NFL owners move their teams to other cities when they don’t get what they demand, charge exorbitant prices for seats (no matter the quality of the product on the field), food and souvenirs,and make season ticket holders buy tickets to “exhibition games”. The NFL encourages periodic franchise moves to keep all of the host cities in line.

    Fanatics (aka fans) keep talking like they are in control and will vote with “empty seats”. Sorry, but next to organized religion the NFL is the most protected private organization in the United States. It’s addictive and most fans can’t just walk away.

    —————————————————————————————–

    I been hearing the same thing you are saying about corporations in other fields for years. They make too much money, they treat their workers badly, and on and on… Well, here we are in the 21st century and we have seen the number of corporations in this country diminish drastically, factories close, manufacturing plants close, and on and on. The result has been disastrous for our economy and even college graduates can’t find decent paying jobs when they graduate now.
    Ronald Reagan saw all this coming and tried to stop it, but he was roundly criticized as being for “big business”. Well, I have news for everyone. We sure could use a lot more big business in this country now, in 2019.
    The owners are millionaires, and even billionaires. I don’t begrudge them making lots of money because, in spite of what some people would have you believe, it’s good for this country that they have all that money.
    I don’t begrudge the players from making a lot of money, either. But just as I would blast any owner who whines about what he has to put up with to make his, I blast guys like Antonio Brown for whining about doing what he has to do to make his. If he doesn’t like it, let him quit and get a 9 to 5 job like the rest of us. Then see how much he misses playing for the Steelers.
    There’s an old saying that I swear by. it goes like this: “the older I get, the smarter by parents get”. Antonio Brown hasn’t learned that and that’s why he is not able to accept the reality which is staring him right in the face. He is one player on the Steelers and believe it or not — he is not irreplaceable. The Steelers were a great organization before he came along, and they’ll be a great organization after he’s gone. It’s no different than Le’Veon Bell.

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