It feels like Steelers, Antonio Brown are on a collision course

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As Antonio Brown tries to talk his way out of Pittsburgh, he’s also potentially talking his way out of other possible NFL cities before he even arrives. Which could set the stage for a fight between player and team that will make the Eagles vs. T.O. look like a mild dinner-table disagreement.

Although Brown has largely curtailed his social-media agitation since Mr. Big Chest met with the Steelers’ Mr. Big, Brown’s comments on HBO’s The Shop coupled with his remarks to ESPN will make it harder, not easier, for the Steelers to find a trade partner. Which will make it more likely that the Steelers eventually will give Brown the “play for us or play for no one” ultimatum, based by the leverage that comes from $11.4 million in unearned signing bonus money that Brown, if he chooses not to play for the Steelers, would have to repay.

Brown nevertheless seems to be confident that the Steelers will take the best trade offer, from a team he finds suitable, that’s on the table before Brown’s $2.5 million roster bonus becomes due on March 17.

“Why wouldn’t they not trade me?” Brown told ESPN. “They gotta pay me $2.5 million on March 17. If I invoice you March 17, $2.5 million that you gotta pay me, would you pay it or would you get somebody else to pay it? So it’s what — pretty much what’s good for their business. . . . They want to start a fresh offseason with no bad blood so their team could just focus on football. No distraction from any player. So I think they’ll get it done.”

Although Steelers G.M. Kevin Colbert told PFT Live this week that the team could pay the money and still trade Brown later, the Steelers could pursue other strategies. They could suspend him for conduct detrimental to the team, place him on the reserve/suspended list, take the position that he’s not on the roster, and refuse to pay the money. They also could regard his comments about wanting out of Pittsburgh coupled with his remarks about not needing football as an indication that he intends to retire absent a trade, and they can place him on the reserve/retired list, forcing him to file a grievance based on the argument that he actually isn’t retired, and that he’s committed to playing for the Steelers.

Or they could just pay the money and use it as added leverage to compel him to show up and play for the Steelers this year, since the $2.5 million would be added to the $11.4 million that he already has received but not earned.

Brown seems to be banking on the team’s desire to turn the page on a potential distraction, and thus he’s willing to make as much of a distraction as possible in order to get the Steelers to move on, even if he resents being regarded as a distraction. Unless the planets align before March 17, with a team for which Brown is willing to play giving the Steelers what they want and giving Brown what he wants and being willing to assume the risk that a guy who says “if they wanna play, they going to play by my rules” means what he says, the Steelers will have to decide whether to pay Brown the money and keep trying to trade him or pay Brown the money and ultimately keep him, even if he doesn’t want to stay, with a plan to embrace the distraction and use the $13.9 million in unearned pay as leverage to get him to realize how good he has it and move forward.

However it plays out, Brown is openly daring the Steelers to play hardball. At some point, maybe they will.

77 responses to “It feels like Steelers, Antonio Brown are on a collision course

  1. As a fan, I would never want this attitude in my favorite teams locker room. He is a good player, but a bad teammate. It’s all about him. Mr big chest. Good luck with this guy.

  2. ditch him to an awful team like the jets and then have his cap hit ruin their rebuilding as it has since man first walked on the
    moon

  3. I would eat the money and keep him off the field!! The way he has acted he would ride the bench for those 3 remaining years.

  4. They could suspend him for conduct detrimental to the team, place him on the reserve/suspended list, take the position that he’s not on the roster, and refuse to pay the money. Do it ! He will soon discover he is not holding all of the cards in the deck.His english grammar skills would indicate a junior HS level and so , if he has no need of football, what other skill sets are evident ” Theoretical Physicists perhaps ? “

  5. This dude is delusional! I could understand his behavior if he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. His being so full of himself is probably the worst drug of all!

  6. I say again.

    Aaron Rogers and Antonio Brown

    The necessary maturity and quality at the QB position that Brown’s antics won’t marred.

  7. Mr. Big Chest is making the off season enjoyable. Too bad it is at the Steelers’ expense.

    Note to teams with divas – best to vote the diva team MVP and avoid all this nonsense. Also, if your QB has a weekly radio show, advise him to keep dirty laundry in the family.

  8. AB , since you ” Don’t have to play football ” , shut up and get out !! Sick of listening to your DIVA CRAP !!!

  9. So funny to hear Brown suggest his best chance to be traded rests on the fact that Pittsburgh wants to get rid of the distraction … after hearing him previously complain that he’s not a distraction. Whatever …

    If the Steelers can’t get a trade that meets theirneeds, we may find out how much Art II really has in common with his father. Dan Rooney let All Pro linebacker Mike Merriweather languish on the bench for a year until he could get a first-round pick from the Vikes. And Merriweather never again reached the career highs he had in Pittsburgh. I’m sure the Steelers team could move on quite nicely with Brown on the reserve/suspended list. It’s easy enough for the players to block him on Twitter.

  10. Why anyone would argue to keep or actually keep someone who doesn’t want to be there on your team is beyond me. All your principles of oh he signed a contract he better honor it are doing is hurting you.

  11. He wants to be an Internet star not a football player . Maybe he doesn’t realize, if he’s not producing on the football field nobody will care what he says at barber shop or on instagram.

  12. Sounds like a media gold mine for the slow off season of the NFL. Antonio is now just being a good company man. 🙂

  13. With all of his antics, it would be entertaining to have the Steelers play hard ball with AB.
    Maybe his blond mustache moxy would eat humble pie…..

  14. I suppose that the could they could try to do all those things. However, asking for aa trade is not grounds for any adverse action agains mr. Big chest. Neither, criticizing the quarterback (ben does it), or saying that he could retire (ben does that every year). The players need to take back their power as it seems teams havery this belief that management has unlimited authority.

  15. Come to Green Bay! This is football, there is no women beating, no drug problems, no murder charges. Who cares if you are a Diva, most WR’s are! Antonio Brown, Davante Adams, = Happy Rodgers, Happy Rodgers = Happy new coach!

  16. Brown is not going on the reserve/suspended list. That’s for players that have been suspended by the NFL. Shooting off your mouth to the press is not Conduct Detrimental either. Especially in the offseason. If the Steelers tried that he’d file a grievance and win. Easily. He’s gonna force a trade and get a raise. Because at the end of the day, he puts up the numbers.

  17. Would be interesting to see his Wonderlic score, as he doesn’t seem to apply too much logic in the way he thinks about the situation. Would be mighty interesting to see the team say it’s not worth getting a throw away 6th round draft choice from someone and say “put up or shut up” to him (show up or stroke me a 10 digit check, which he probably doesn’t have)

  18. Brown is correct. The problem here for the Steelers is that there is no possible way they can stop Brown from being a “distraction”. In today’s media starved for drama filled world. Brown’s strategy wins every time.

  19. I’m sure this train wreck will be a hot topic come CBA renegotiating time. The players want more guarantees? Haha. ABs stunt is hurting their chances on that happening (imo).

    He got a large chunk upfront, now he wants to bail on the remainder because he realizes he has no chance of guaranteed big money again if he completes the contract. The window will be slammed shut.

    No matter how much he rants about everyone else, the vast majority of the time, the person that keeps running off at the mouth is the true root of the problem.

  20. I think the Steelers should inform Mr. Brown of the “strategies” this post outlined which the Steelers can adopt instead of paying Brown his $2.5 mil bonus. Brown seems to be under the delusion that he’s in control of this situation, and can get whatever he wants by talking his way out of town. When in fact it’s the Steelers who hold almost all of the cards.

    What team would want a player who’s announced in advance that they have to play by HIS rules if they sign him?

  21. tedmurph says:
    March 3, 2019 at 4:51 pm
    Brown is not going on the reserve/suspended list. That’s for players that have been suspended by the NFL. Shooting off your mouth to the press is not Conduct Detrimental either.
    =======================

    They may not be able to do it right now, but how long do you think it will take AB to shoot his mouth off, if God forbid, he has to stay with the Steelers because he has already run his mouth? 5 minutes or less?

  22. Packers….. Aaron and AB could you imagine those two Egomaniacs going at it … That would be A great reality show !!!!
    Staring Aaron Rodgers Biggest baby since Brady ,AB you think Ben was bad Aaron yells and blames everyone but himself .
    On this weeks episode one of our stars gets his coach fired !! the other throws his sofa off the top of his house then rants incoherently .

  23. I love it.

    The Steelers are going to decide that the best thing for their team is to have him in the clubhouse and on the sidelines trashing Big Ben and the Steelers front office to whoever will listen.

    Unless somebody pays them not to.

    After dealing with Bell from a distance last year the Steelers want to have Brown’s distraction be part of their clubhouse.

    What a completely dysfunctional franchise. It’s like a train wreck though, you just can’t not watch.

  24. If they’re gonna trade Brown, they’ll do it before his roster bonus is due. Why throw away more money.

  25. AB showed up for the 2018 training camp by helicopter and stayed in his private residence while the other players stayed in dorms. Tomlin regularly allowed Brown to arrive late (or skip meeting completely). Colbert and Rooney signed Brown to a new five year contract in February 2017. Two years later Brown wants a new, guaranteed contract. Art Rooney II met with Brown to get his side of the story (reminiscent of RG III and Dan Snyder). Having empowered Brown the Steelers brain trust seem surprised that Brown wants to be traded to another contender that will reward him with a new, fully guaranteed contract. The new team will need to “play by” Brown’s rules and have a good QB. Sooner or later the Steelers will need to discipline the petulant child Brown has become. The message that the team needs to stop enabling players seems lost though as the Steelers are determined to reward their other spoiled player – Big Ben – with a new contract extension! Until Colbert, Rooney and Tomlin realize that they are at least partly to blame of Brown’s antics the situation will continue. I can’t wait for Ben’s next series of histrionics. I wonder if he stays in a private residence during training camp? Anyone know?

  26. You guys don’t get it. If Brown doesn’t get traded from Pittsburgh to a city of his choice, the sun won’t rise anymore.

  27. Interesting that Florio points out that teams are being scared away understandably by Antonio Brown’s words and behavior. Fearing that he might be a distraction in the locker room and not worth signing. But apparently that logic wasn’t allowed for Colin Kaepernick.

  28. this is why you never want a “player’s coach.” Lack of discipline can feed the egos of insane players like this guy, which eventually creates drama.

  29. The Steelers will do everything possible to trade Brown because that’s in their financial best interest. And I expect some team will express interest despite Brown’s bizarre behavior just as the Cowboys were willing to take on Owens despite his behavior in Philly (thank heavens there was no Twitter then!). But Brown’s won’t be able to just pick out his dream team and draw up his ideal contract. If the Steelers can’t get a trade package that meets their needs, I expect they’d hang onto him. Then he can choose to play or sit out. Would that trigger the opportunity to suspend him, as this article suggests? I don’t know. But he’s already the second highest-paid receiver in the game and under contract to the Steelers for three more years. If he doesn’t want to play for Pittsburgh, he may wind up sitting on a bench without pay. Either way, this too shall pass. Diva players come and go, but the teams somehow manage to survive.

  30. This guy doesn’t need a new team, new QB, or new contract, he needs therapy! And not the conventional kind that normal, hard working respectful people would use – something more out of the box.

    Maybe some kind of public statement – perhaps a video released on a social media platform like Face……oh, that’s right – maybe not.

    Oh I know…..maybe some aggression based method, like letting all his anger out by throwing a chair……..oh…….yeah, no on that one too.

    Maybe just let him live out his own horrible, self centered existence outside of football. The Mr Big Chest of his own living room would be nice.

  31. What an idiot. Say what you want about the Steelers, but they have NEVER cut short a contract on a player who was still playing at peak performance level. Brown could have earned his entire contract as long as he just played. Bottom line is what have the Steelers won with him? ZIP.

    Bye Felicia

  32. He’s the Daffy Duck of the NFL. The Steelers ain’t getting diddly squat for him.

  33. The reference to Eagles/T.O. has me wondering: Instead of situps in the driveway, will AB resort to doing his end zone celebrations and dancing in his driveway?

  34. Al Davis would have made him dress for every game and sat him on the bench until his contract was up or a desperate team came up with the ransom! See Allen, Marcus.

  35. I seriously think that whatever team wants to sign him should insist on him passing a brain scan. He is not right, either a breakdown or the start of cte

  36. What is it with the Steelers players that they talk and act their way out of money? Antonio Brown and Leveon Bell etc? This is not how Joe Flacco handled his business after getting demoted. Look at him now. He is in a better place or trying to make the most out of his situation. This is called being a true professional. Ego be dammed.These two will never sniff a SB.

  37. I’m with most of the posters and I could care less what team he plays for. I would use one of those nuclear options and make him work for it. Teams have been (characteristically) willing to forgive past sins in the need for talent, but as good as he his he isn’t worth the locker room headache.

  38. Mr. Florio, Brow does NOT want to be traded. He wants to be cut so he gets another crack at guaranteed money up front. He figures any damage he does trying to get the Steelers to release him can be made up in negotiations with a new team.

  39. it is sad,but he is such a cancer to the entire NFL. Godell should just suspend him indefinitely and set an example for the future idiots that are too stupid to realize how good they have it just playing a game.

  40. Can’t wait until March 17th so *hopefully* we can stop hearing about him.

    Kaepernick, Bell and now Brown. Just Go AWAY.

  41. pbdisciple says:
    March 3, 2019 at 4:52 pm
    Would be interesting to see his Wonderlic score, as he doesn’t seem to apply too much logic in the way he thinks about the situation.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~
    Logic? I have not seen any from him. I’m wondering if he used the right end of the pencil when he took that particular test.

  42. The Steelers are on a collision course with destiny. All those years of the fans acting like obnoxious rats is finally paying off and they’ll have to suffer, watching their 2nd place team sold for parts. Hahahahahahaha.

  43. jaymormay says:
    March 3, 2019 at 6:35 pm
    He’s the Daffy Duck of the NFL. The Steelers ain’t getting diddly squat for him.
    ———————————————————————————–
    I’ve been following PFT for at least 10 years….and never has anyone dropped “Daffy Duck” and “diddly squat” in the same post. Well played!

  44. Does everyone understand that the only reason for all this is Antonio Brown just wants to tear up his contract because he is turning 31. He knows he will never get a big money deal again if not now. He knows he is signed for 3 more years. So he starts making up this big fight, a scorched earth attack and everyone is focused on his silly words. The dude is greedy and does not want to honor the contract he signed. That is all that there is to this whole thing. There is nothing new from his last 9 years Wake up fools.

  45. he literally called himself a distraction… Why would I want to pay for a 30 year old distraction?

  46. You can tell he doesn’t want to be traded. This is all about Ben getting an extension and him feeling like he deserves more guaranteed money. I understand his issue with respect, Colbert solidifying his argument and the fact he’s been the game’s best receiver for years, but there’s no way he’s going to get the same treatment that Roethlisberger’s been afforded. Different position and loyalty is few and far between in this business.

  47. I wonder if he requires his new coach to call him Mr. Big Chest. If thats the case, I don’t see anyone other than tomlin doing that.

  48. Keep talkin’ Mr. Big Chest, you’re losing hundreds of fans by the minute. And when the NFL doesn’t work out for you, you should definitely look into the rodeo circuit…. as a clown!

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