While some in the media attempted to spin Mike Tomlin’s “no business interest at this time” comments regarding Antonio Brown as the team leaving the door open to re-sign him, Kevin Colbert firmly slammed that door shut in an interview on NFL Network.
Sitting with down Andrew Siciliano earlier Tuesday, Colbert made it clear where the organization stands on AB.
“We have moved on from Antonio Brown and Coach Tomlin addressed that the last time he spoke with the media,” Colbert told Siciliano on NFLN. “We’re worried about Antonio Brown as a person. He will always be a Steeler in that regard, but in that regard only.”
There ya go. “In that regard but in that regard only.” Hopefully the national media will get the message now (they probably won’t).
The mission to replace Brown began about a year ago. They drafted Diontae Johnson, who went on to have an impressive rookie year as a receiver and punt returner and is the team’s starting X receiver, AB’s old spot, for the long haul. And though there’s still a need at receiver, this year’s draft is as deep as ever and will offer Pittsburgh plenty of chances to bolster depth.
Brown is still under investigation for sexual harassment allegations made against him during his brief tenure with the New England Patriots. Until the league clears him and his additional legal issues are resolved, no one will have interest in scooping him up. But even if he puts those problems behind him a few months from now, the Steelers clearly will have no interest. Brown burned every bridge in the organization from – most importantly – Art Rooney II to Mike Tomlin to Ben Roethlisberger to basically every person or player he could attack. Re-signing Brown would be untenable for that locker room and create a tsunami of distractions the team has been trying to avoid ever since Brown was shipped off to Oakland.
Pittsburgh seems open to helping Brown the person, though it’s unclear in what way they could and would try to assist him. But from a football perspective, Antonio Brown will never wear a Steelers’ uniform again. End of story.