With a little less than four weeks now remaining until the start of the 2019 NFL league year, it appears all but certain that wide receiver Antonio Brown has played his last down with the Pittsburgh Steelers. In short, Brown will more than likely be traded or released by the Steelers by the time the 2019 NFL Draft gets underway. Assuming that Brown has indeed now played his last down with the Steelers, he’ll leave the franchise still trailing former wide receiver Hines Ward in several franchise statistical categories.
Currently, Brown’s 837 total receptions has him 163 behind Ward for the all-time franchise lead. Browns 11,207 receiving yards is also 867 fewer than Ward posted during his 14-year NFL career in Pittsburgh. If that’s not enough, Brown will seemingly end his career with the Steelers still trailing Ward by 11 total touchdown receptions.
While Brown will presumably leave Pittsburgh trailing Ward in those three main statistical receiving categories, a few receiving records that he set during his nine seasons might stand for many more years to come and they’re ones that Ward never came close to sniffing.
Brown’s single-game record of 17 receptions that he set in 2015 isn’t likely to be broken for some time and the same goes for the 284 yards receiving he registered in that same contest. Ward’s single-game record for catches and receiving yards during his entire 14-year career was 13 and 171, respectively. Brown also has recorded 42 100-yard receiving games so far during his NFL career while Ward only was able to do that 29 times.
A few other of Brown’s single-season Steelers records are sure to stand a while as well. First, his 136 total receptions that he had in 2015 is second all-time in the NFL to only Marvin Harrison (143). Brown’s 1,834 receiving yards that he registered during that same 2015 season also isn’t likely to be bested for quite a while. Ward’s best season in those two statistical categories came in 2002 when he caught 112 passes for 1,329 yards.
While Ward’s long career in Pittsburgh certainly wasn’t void of drama, it never reached the level of what we have observed from Brown dating back to the final week of the 2018 regular season. Because of that, and assuming the Steelers and Brown ultimately part ways in the coming weeks or months, it will be interesting to see what Brown’s legacy in Pittsburgh will ultimately turn out to be and especially with him never winning a Super Bowl ring during his nine-year career in the Steel City.
To this day we still see fans wearing Ward’s No. 86 jersey while attending Steelers games at Heinz Field and he last played in Pittsburgh in 2011. Seven full seasons from now will we be able to easily spot a No. 84 Brown jersey in a Heinz Field crowd? Time will tell.