Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown was back in town yesterday for an accounting of his transgressions. No, not the ones that Steelers fans would care about, but rather the matter of an unresolved speeding incident from last year, which did cause concern for many.
Brown reportedly was clocked going over 100 MPH on November 8 of 2018 on McKnight Road, which is…probably not a road on which you should drive that fast. In case you don’t recall, that is the same day that the Steelers hosted the Carolina Panthers on a Thursday Night game. He showed off his speed in that game with a 53-yard touchdown, part of a six-reception, 96-yard day as Pittsburgh, ahem, cruised to victory over the visiting franchise, who were by the way 6-2 at that time before finishing 7-9.
Anyway, back to Brown, he was due to appear in court back in February with his blonde mustache, but he failed to do so, and his no-show resulted in his being found guilty of reckless driving. The total damage was less than $1000, so of course he wouldn’t actually care.
Yesterday, he accepted a plea deal that allowed him to plead guilty of a lesser charge, specifically to driving at an unsafe speed. In addition to a fine, he had a couple of points deducted from his driver’s license.
Antonio Brown was inescapable for most of the nine seasons that he spent in Pittsburgh, during which he became one of the most prolific players in NFL history, particularly over the past six seasons, setting a pace it’s hard to imagine being topped in the near future with six consecutive 100-reception seasons.
Though he still put up his numbers last year—104 receptions for 1297 yards and a league-leading, career-high 15 touchdowns—his relationship with the team and the city soured dramatically, coming to a head in Week 17 and unfolding throughout the offseason.
That culminated in his forcing his way out of Pittsburgh, demanding a new contract with guaranteed money and a pay raise. It took the Steelers months to even get a face-to-face meeting with him, and then a while yet before they could find a team willing to even entertain all of his demands who was willing to give up more than a McChicken for the honor.
The ultimate result was Pittsburgh getting back a third- and fifth-round pick to send the diva to the Oakland Raiders. They turned those two selections into wide receiver Diontae Johnson, who has drawn pre-draft comparisons to Brown, and 6’8” tight end Zach Gentry. It also supplied Kevin Colbert the ammunition to trade up in the first round to get Devin Bush.