A very informal and very unofficial poll of Pittsburgh Steelers fans I’ve taken suggests that the vast majority are more than ready to say goodbye to Antonio Brown, provided that the team is able to get sufficient compensation for him. a significant subset of those people are not even particularly concerned with the compensation and just want him gone.
Not everybody feels that way, however. There are a lot of people who simply expect him to honor the contract that he signed, of which there are three years remaining. Include John Steigerwald among that group, who posted his ideal hypothetical conversation between Brown and Art Rooney II, with whom the wide receiver is supposed to meet this week.
After a deal of back and forth in which he has Brown regurgitating the same things he has been saying over the course of the past few days, he had Rooney dropping the bomb on the receiver:
BROWN: Ben disrespected me. I need respect.
ROONEY: Maybe the $68 million I’ve committed to paying you should be all the respect you need. And I don’t need you tweeting pictures of yourself in a 49ers uniform.
BROWN: I think it’s time to move on.
Rooney: That’s nice. I think it’s time for me to let you know how this is going to work. I’m the guy paying you $17 million a year. I gave you a $19 million signing bonus because I believed you were a good investment. I’m the boss. You are on the books to make $17 million if you play for the Pittsburgh Steelers. You’ve done a great job of reducing your value with your idiotic tweets. There will be no trade. If you play football next year, it will be for the Steelers and nobody else. So I suggest you show up for minicamp — and training camp — where you’ll be staying in the dormitory with everybody else, by the way. If you don’t show up for our first game, you won’t be paid. Your choice. Shut up and play for the Pittsburgh Steelers for $17 million or don’t play for anybody and make nothing. Don’t get up. I’ll see myself out.
It would be interesting to see the fan divide on this. If the Steelers are unable to get better than, say, a third-round pick, or perhaps even a fourth-round pick in exchange for Brown, would you keep Brown and just see what happens?
The worst-case scenario is that he does report and is a malcontent in the locker room. And that would be horrible. Alternatively, he could simply not report and get himself disciplined. Or he could show up and just play…for the most part, anyway. We still have at least a few weeks to find out what’s going to happen, however.