Brown & Rooney Meet; Agree to Part Ways
(Pittsburgh,Pa) The Bizarre offseason for Antonio Brown may have reached its conclusion as the bitter Pittsburgh Steelers WR had his meeting with Steelers owner Art Rooney II at his home in Florida.
With agent Drew Rosenhaus also present at the meeting, Brown gave this update via Twitter: “Had a great meeting with Mr. Rooney today we discussed a lot of things and we cleared the air on several issues! We both agreed that it is time to move on, but I’ll always have appreciation and gratitude towards the Rooney family and @steelers organization!” #CallGod #Boomin
Although Brown ‘cleared the air’ with his employer, it’s clear that his days with the Steelers are officially numbered.
2018 has been a tumultuous season for the Steelers WR. From facing scrutiny for arriving to Training Camp in a helicopter (and then blaming the media for being scrutinized) for speeding 90 MPH down a Pittsburgh highway and then getting a ticket for it, (and not paying the fine) and then being investigated for domestic violence for the mother of his child, and then his rants on Social Media which included accusations against QB Ben Roethlisberger after being called out for running a wrong route in their loss to the Denver Broncos. Not to mention a blowup with Big Ben during practice the final week of the season which caused him to miss practice and eventually the Steelers final game vs. the Cincinnati Bengals.
Even through it all, Brown still caught 104 passes, for 1,297 yards and an NFL-leading 15 TDs, which earned him a trip to his 7th consecutive Pro Bowl, which he didn’t play. It wasn’t clear if it was because of the emergence of 2nd-year WR JuJu Smith-Shuster who had better numbers (111 rec, 1,426 yards ) than Brown, but he stated that he didn’t feel respected by the Steelers who repeatedly tried to downplay the drama, but Brown wouldn’t allow it as he was willing to speak to fans via a Twitter chat and even made it plain several times that he wanted to be traded, stating that he’s willing to play for anyone who’s willing to win.
“If your squad want to win and you squad want a hungry wide receiver who’s the best in the whole world, someone hit my phone,” Brown said Monday. “Tell them I ain’t doing no unguarantees. I ain’t even gonna play myself no more for this NFL. … I think I done everything. What y’all think? What’s left for me to do? Win a Super Bowl? Gotta be the right team for that, right? … If your team got guaranteed money, they want to get to know me and work with me, tell them to call me.”
The Question is, how will the Steelers get it done? Trades cannot officially be made until the new NFL Fiscal Season begins March 13, and Brown is due a $2.5 million roster bonus on March 17, so if the Steelers were to try to deal Brown, that would be the time.
Antonio Brown signed a 4-year, $68,000,000 contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers, including a $19,000,000 signing bonus, $19,000,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $17,000,000. In 2019, Brown is scheduled to earn a base salary of $12,625,000 with that
$2,500,000 roster bonus, while carrying a cap hit of $22,165,000 and a dead cap value of $21,120,000.
The team would take on $21.12 million in dead money by releasing or trading Brown but would offset that money by saving on his $22.165 million salary-cap figure for 2019.
Many experts feel that the Steelers would be fortunate to get a 3rd round pick in a trade for Brown-mostly because of his antics, but there are rumors that the Arizona Cardinals (who have the #1 overall pick) the San Francisco 49ers (who have the #2 overall pick) or the NY Jets (3rd overall pick) could be possible suitors for Brown’s services.
Arizona could be the most appealing location for Brown because they also have a player who wants to be traded in Pro-Bowl CB Patrick Peterson. A possible move could be the Steelers sending Brown to the Cardinals for Peterson and a 3rd or 6th round pick in 2020. The 49ers could offer speedy WR Marquise Goodwin (43 rec, 395 yards 4 TDs) and a 3rd round pick. Plus, the NFL Draft is said to be deep with talented receivers.
Such a trade would leave the Steelers very thin at WR after Smith-Shuster. Still unproven 2018 rookie James Washington, 3rd-year man Eli Rogers, and veterans Ryan Switzer and Justin Hunter, plus TEs Vance McDonald and Jesse James.
How this all plays out remains to be seen, and the Steelers know that they will take a tremendous hit by losing the NFL’s best WR over the past 5 years, but they also know that trading a tumultuous player is truly addition by subtraction.
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