Steelers Analyst: Antonio Brown "Has To Go"

Brown quit on his team, Ron Cook says, and the Steelers want nothing to do with him

January 03, 2019 - 9:53 am

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Antonio Brown has reportedly requested a trade from the Steelers. But even if he didn’t, Pittsburgh may still shop him regardless.

“Antonio Brown has to go,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Fan host Ron Cook said on Ferrall on the Bench. "His teammates are talking about him. He let them down last week. If Tomlin would have played him, he would have absolutely lost the rest of his team, but to his credit, he didn’t. Now he’s lost Antonio. I see no way how he comes back into that locker room. He quit on his teammates. He quit. I see no way that he’s back next year. The team doesn’t want anything to do with him.”

After several drama-filled days, Brown did not play in Pittsburgh’s must-win game against Cincinnati in Week 17. The Steelers won 16-13. 

Since then? Radio silence.

“I think what ticked off the teammates with Le’Veon and also now with Antonio is the lack of communication,” Cook said. “He can’t even tell these guys – his teammates, his brothers – what’s going on. I think that really, really ticked them off. And when you don’t show up for work, it’s awful.”

Indeed, from Bell to Brown, there’s been no shortage of drama in Pittsburgh this season. That could be, in part, why the Steelers (9-6-1) missed the playoffs for the first time since 2013.

Mike Tomlin, though, does not appear in danger of losing his job.

“I don’t think he’s in any trouble whatsoever,” Cook said. “This ownership is so patient. They’ve had three coaches since 1969. But 100 percent behind him? I don’t know. I think he handled this really poorly, but he’s certainly not going to be fired. I would expect staff changes. It won’t be him. But I think going into next year, even the bosses are going to be watching a little closer because this is too good of a team to not make the playoffs.”

The Steelers had one of the most tumultuous, up-and-down seasons in franchise history. They started 1-2-1, won six in a row, and then lost four of five.

“They go from 7-2-1 and lose four of the next five games,” Cook said. “That’s one of the great collapses in franchise history, and it’s embarrassing now, all this stuff with Antonio. To me, they’ve become a laughingstock of the NFL. People all over the country are saying, ‘This is the Steelers? This is what Art Rooney built? This is what Dan Rooney built?’ It’s an embarrassment.”