The Pittsburgh Steelers are out of Latrobe and back at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, also referred to as the South Side Facility. We are already into the regular season, where everything is magnified and, you know, actually counts. The team is working through the highs and lows and dramas that go through a typical Steelers season.
How are the rookies performing? What about the players that the team signed in free agency? Who is missing time with injuries, and when are they going to be back? What are the coaches saying about what they are going to do this season that might be different from how it was a year ago?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: Will Antonio Brown play for the Steelers in 2019?
This is the question defining the Steelers’ offseason just days into it. Will Antonio Brown, arguably their best player, even be a member of the team the next time they take the field, even though he is still under contract for a couple more years?
Even a week ago the question would have seemed absurd, but a lot has happened since then…and a lot more has come to light. If you’re here, you already know all the important details so we don’t need to rehash the entire saga, but Brown certainly appears to be having fun playing with the idea of him finding a new place to play.
And Head Coach Mike Tomlin’s press conference yesterday didn’t exactly sound dismissive of the idea that pursuing a trade was on the table. As Alex Kozora pointed out, when rumors of trade interest for Martavis Bryant circulated last year, they were pretty emphatic in denying it, but ended up trading him. They also reportedly were interested in moving Le’Veon Bell, but that was an even more complicated situation.
Obviously, the Steelers would like to keep him if they can manage it, but from the sounds of it, they are going to have to take some time to figure out how they can work things out with Brown in the hopes of alleviating some of the issues that have been coming up.
If they reach a point where they feel that they can’t address the situation in a way that is most conducive to the Steelers finding success on the field, then at this point we certainly can’t rule out the possibility of a trade as a realistic option.