The Pittsburgh Steelers seemed to be taking one final Hail Mary at convincing Antonio Brown to stay in Pittsburgh. And according to a report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Brown has no interest in making things work. Per this tweet from Rapoport, team owner Art Rooney II flew to Florida in the hopes of meeting with Brown. That didn’t happen.
Brown hasn’t talked to the team since the season ended, as confirmed by Rooney last month. Perhaps the only communication from the two sides was Brown expressing his desire to be traded, news that surely came from agent Drew Rosenhaus, not AB himself.
Despite all the controversy, Brown hasn’t avoided the public eye over the past month. He’s been active on social media, recording Instagram videos with fans, attended the Super Bowl, and most recently, was spotted at the Grammy’s.
It appears he’s already moved on, repeatedly saying he’s “Open For Business” on his social media accounts following the news he formally requested a trade from the Steelers.
Even though Pittsburgh may want to keep him for the talent he brings and the realization they’ll never get an equal value in return, blowing off the franchise owner is a quick ticket out of town.
As Rapoport’s tweet indicates, the Combine is when trade talk typically ramps up. All 31 other clubs are in the same town with plenty of time to discuss the framework of a deal. It’s doubtful an agreement will be completed over those couple days but it puts the wheels in motion. Pittsburgh is most likely to receive a second or third round pick for Brown should a deal be completed.
UPDATE (2:05 PM): Rapoport is following up on his original report, saying Brown will now meet with Mr. Rooney.
UPDATE #2 (5:20 PM): ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports the meeting will take place next week.
“The Pittsburgh Steelers’ team president is scheduled to meet with Brown in person, a source confirmed. That meeting is expected to take place next week, a source told ESPN.”