The Antonio Brown Situation™ has been the top story in all of football since the regular season ended, which is impressive considering that the Pittsburgh Steelers did not even participate in the postseason this past year.
Obviously you know the latest development by now. Yesterday, Brown posted a farewell message to Steeler Nation, basically acknowledging that he wants to be traded and is ready to move to a new team. About a dozen reporters subsequently ‘confirmed’ that he requested a trade.
Former Steelers outside linebacker Arthur Moats spent several years in that locker room as Brown’s teammate and was always regarded as a personable and intelligent person. This offseason, he’s begun to share his thoughts about various topics via social media, and he weighed in on the latest developments with Brown.
“You typically wouldn’t even consider trading a player of his caliber, ever. Under no stretch of the imagination. But in this particular situation, I feel that you have to consider it if you’re the Steelers”, he said.
In a situation in which a player requests to traded, “it’s best to grant that wish simply because if you keep him and that player truly does not want to be there, you open up the potential for the situation to be drastically worse going forward, and you could see that rub off on some of the younger players or players going through a similar situation”.
The Steelers more than most organizations tend to concern themselves with avoiding ‘setting precedents’, but the team has traded troublesome players in the past, such as Mike Merriweather, who held out in a contract dispute for an entire season. They traded him a year later when he threatened to do it again.
“The way AB has handled this situation throughout this offseason, and the Steelers as well, I feel like both parties have some type of responsibility in this, I feel that neither of them have handled it the best way”, Moats said.
“I also think about the current state of the Steelers organization and how they’ve been viewed throughout this season from the media, through social media, and things like that. When I think about all those factors, I do think it is best that both parties have a fresh start”.
While he hastened to add that there is still time before a trade can be made and that stances can be softened, he conceded, “I don’t think that will happen, but there’s still hope”. Still, he offered some ground rules about moving him.
“He cannot go to any team in the AFC North. That’s your vision. You do not want to see him twice a year”, he said. “He cannot go to the New England Patriots”, either. In fact, he went so far as to say that he doesn’t want him in the AFC. “I wouldn’t want to see him in any round of the playoffs except the Super Bowl”.
It is now virtually impossible to envision Brown being in training camp with the Steelers this summer, and frankly, I don’t think there are many people left who aren’t ready to move on. But we can’t until March at the earliest.
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