The Antonio Brown Situation™ is starting to come to a head as we make our slow approach toward the start of the new league year. The Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver is expected to meet with team president Art Rooney II shortly, after which we should know a lot more about which direction things are going to go.
My guess is that Brown will make it pretty clear he has no intentions of playing another down for the Steelers, and that Rooney will realize that and take the appropriate actions of working out a trade that gives the Steelers a little something in return for the drama.
It’s been readily apparent for a while now that Brown is trying to force the Steelers’ hand to get things kickstarted. I would imagine that the primary reason he agreed to meet with Rooney at this point is to make it as clear as he can that he wants to be out of there.
As Mike Florio has observed, he is going about things with the same approach as Terrell Owens did in the past when he wanted to be traded, only he has better tools on hand. Owens had to spend a lot more time acting out in public to make himself undesirable. Brown can do so from the toilet via social media.
Still, it’s been noticed, including by Ray Fittipaldo, who noted it in his chat recently. “Look at his mentor Terrell Owens”, he said about the Hall of Famer’s erratic behavior being an effort to get himself out of a contract. “That’s what he did in Philly”.
“It’s unclear whether it will work, but Brown has been using his Twitter account to ruminate and agitate and instigate, taking aim most recently at quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and coach Mike Tomlin”, Florio wrote. “And that could be Brown’s best weapon, because the Steelers have yet to find a trade partner or otherwise show any concrete willingness to give Brown what he wants”.
Brown has been able to do most of this from the comfort of his own home so far, but the Steelers haven’t budged yet. He has made snide remarks in a public interview during the Super Bowl, throwing Rooney’s words back in his face, saying that ‘everything is on the table’ when asked about where he will play next year.
Now he wants to set about making it as clear as possible to his face that he wants to be gone. And he’s using just about every tool at his disposal, including, evidently, mustache hair dye, to make the Steelers want to trade him—or perhaps even release him. It’s hard to know just how big his problems are with the team, but he has enough ammunition to make it undesirable for the team to want to keep him around much longer.