Now that Antonio Brown has embarked on his 2020 apology tour, some fans have began to wonder if the Pittsburgh Steelers would ever take him back. Based on what Mike Tomlin said today during his appearance on First Take, the answer to that is a resounding no.
Tomlin was asked if the organization would ever consider making him a Steeler. His answer was diplomatic but abundantly clear.
“I’ll say this. Once a Steeler, always a Steeler,” Tomlin told ESPN. “We had great success over nine plus years with Antonio. We’re always going to be interested in his growth and development as a man. And we’ll be open to assisting him in that. But we have no current business interest at this time.”
Brown simply burned too many bridges on his way out of Pittsburgh. Bridges with Ben Roethlisberger, Mike Tomlin, and perhaps most importantly, Art Rooney II. It was Brown who refused to meet with Rooney for weeks during his final two months as a Steeler.
That meeting finally did take place but it was too little, too late. Exiting that discussion, both sides agreed it was time to move on and less than a month later, Brown was on his way to Oakland.
For Brown, getting back in the league with any team means the NFL will have to clear him in their current investigation stemming from sexual harassment and assault allegations. He was also recently arrested on felony burglary and battery charges last month. It’s hard to imagine any team, much less Pittsburgh, rolling the dice on Brown until those two issues are behind him.
In all honesty, there’s still a decent chance Brown plays in the NFL again. When that may be and with what team? No one has any idea. But per Tomlin’s comments, you can firmly rule out that team being the Pittsburgh Steelers.