We still don’t know what’s going on in Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown’s head, because we have yet to hear from him in any meaningful or substantial way since before the regular season ended, but almost everything we have learned or gathered from that point forward has hinted at the likelihood of his forcing the team’s hand to move him.
Will that happen though? Is that what he wants? If it’s not, he’s got a funny way of showing it, but perhaps there have been signs. When President Art Rooney II first spoke on the issue early this offseason and made comments reflecting his desire to work things out, he responded by posting a picture of himself and Rooney shaking hands, writing, ‘Good Business’.
He has since made other posts that seem to run the gamut of mental and emotional states, even going so far as to suggest that the entire team, including players, coaches, and owners, is ‘indifferent’ to him, but perhaps a cooler head is gradually prevailing.
“One thing I understand about this fan base and that I’ll never forget and always appreciate is your passion”, he wrote on Twitter last night. “Know that it’s all love this way and I am forever grateful for #steelernation!”.
He added in parentheses, “this is not a goodbye, just a thank u”.
One thing I understand about this fan base and that I’ll never forget and always appreciate is your passion. Know that it’s all love this way and I am forever thankful for #steelernation ! 🙏🏾 (this is not a goodbye, just a thank u) pic.twitter.com/5mCg5pRjXL
— Antonio Brown (@AB84) January 20, 2019
This may not be a goodbye, but will there be one two months from now? The jury is still very much out, and frankly for the moment one has to figure that the odds are in favor of him being traded to another organization.
While he can’t trade himself, or force himself to be traded, there is nobody that plays a larger role in what happens going forward than himself. It’s up to him to take the next step to determine what kind of relationship he wants to have with the team, and that will likely determine whether or not he gets dealt.
Barring the unlikely event that the Steelers simply can’t field any offer that justifies moving him in spite of the very minimal cap savings, but I have a hard time imagining that they couldn’t get at least a first-round pick for him.
This is the same story that we all know by now, but does Brown’s post signify anything? If he finally coming down from the emotional high of his late-season issues and being able to step back to see things more clearly and make a more rational determination of what he wants?
Maybe his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, has finally gotten him to pick up his phone and has advised him to start cleaning up the mess he’s made? Or maybe he’s just trying to earn some brownie points ahead of his ‘interview’ that he plans to give at some point.
But the most important is and will remain until something changes, when will he get in contact with the team? Nothing can happen before then.