Former NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson has worked out with Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown nearly every offseason since he was drafted in 2010. In short, if anybody likely knows what Brown is thinking right now entering he 2019 offseason it’s him. On Thursday, Johnson was a guest on ESPN’s ‘First Take’ and when asked to give his thoughts about Brown’s current situation with the Steelers and the speculated bad rep he seems to be getting since he went AWOL in Week 17, his answer was short and straight to the point.
“Anyone that is outspoken, anyone that is outlandishness, any type of personalty that you have, you get the diva label,” Johnson said of Brown. “That’s all that matters. But his work ethic, you already know, I don’t need to say, and it’s an unfortunate situation that’s going on right now in Pittsburgh and he wants out. I don’t know the ins and outs of what’s going on.”
Johnson was immediately asked where he thinks Brown should ultimately end up should the Steelers trade him this offseason and not surprisingly, he said the San Francisco 49ers, because he believes the wide receiver would be a good fit with their quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
Brown obviously hasn’t been shy on social media about his infatuation with 49ers since the 2018 season ended as he’s posted a few photoshopped pictures of himself in a San Francisco jersey. Additionally, former 49ers wide receiver and Hall of Famer Jerry Rice has also been pushing for Brown to wind up San Francisco and seemingly much to the approval of the Steelers wide receiver.
Brown and Johnson recently spent time together in Miami, FL getting some training in with one another and the two even recorded an long Instagram video together while smoking cigars during those few days. In short, it’s hard to imagine Johnson not knowing Brown’s real feelings and wants right now, or at least during the recent time the two longtime friends spent together.
The official start of the 2019 trading period begins six weeks from today and that’s also the start of the new league year. As already noted several times so far this offseason, Brown is due a $2.5 million roster bonus a few days into the new league year so if the Steelers do decide to trade the wide receiver, doing so before having to pay him that money would be ideal.