Cook: No "Sane" GM Would Trade For Antonio Brown

Ron Cook believes the Steelers should take whatever they can get for Brown, calling it "addition by subtraction"

March 07, 2019 - 7:42 am

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The Pittsburgh Steelers will reportedly trade Antonio Brown this week, but Ron Cook doesn’t know who would want him – or what they would be willing to give up for him.

“Everybody thinks Oakland just because they have the No. 1s, but my God, I don’t know,” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist and 93.7 host said on Ferrall on the Bench. “I’m still having a hard time believing anyone would give up a No. 1 for him after what he did over the weekend, the latest of his shenanigans, coming out and saying, ‘We’re going to play by my rules.’ He wants a new contract, he quit on his team, everything else that he’s done here the last few years – I can’t believe a sane owner, general manager or coach would bring this guy on board.”

A sixth-round pick in 2010, Brown has spent his entire career with the Steelers. He has six straight 100-catch seasons and led the NFL with 15 touchdowns last year.

“Antonio Brown is the best wide receiver I’ve ever seen the Steelers have – and I watched (Lynn) Swann and (John) Stallworth play,” Cook said. “He’s better. But I don’t want him on my team when he acts the way he does, doesn’t show up for work, he’s all about himself – it’s a bad situation here. If I’m the Steelers, I’d be thrilled to get a 2 or a 3 for him, let alone a No. 1. Maybe Oakland will be the one team that gives them more, but I got to see it to believe it. I can’t believe you bring a guy on board like him. It’s just hard for me to believe.”

As it stands, the Steelers will likely enter 2019 without Brown or Le’Veon Bell – arguably the best wide receiver and running back in football.

“His was a business decision,” Cook said of Bell. “It cost him a lot. He gave up $14.5 million. That’s how much he believed in himself. OK, I get that. I don’t agree with what he did; it ticked off his teammates. But Antonio actually quit on his guys. He’s blamed everybody but himself. . . . It’s been one thing after another with this guy. He’s a great talent. It’s a shame. I hope they can get what they can get for him, but if you can’t get a 1 or a 2, I’d trade him for a 7 if you have to get rid of him. I think it’s addition by subtraction.”

Brown’s relationship with Ben Roethlisberger has soured in recent years, but Cook doesn’t understand why.

“I have no idea. I really don’t,” he said. “I believe the numbers say they’re the best quarterback-wide receiver combination in history, at least by catches. I think Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison are No. 1. They’re right there. They have made beautiful music together.”

Thus, the question must be asked: If Brown acts like this while playing with a Hall-of-Fame quarterback – and for a winning organization – how is he going to act if he plays with a marginal quarterback or a losing franchise?

“It’s not about losing; he wants to be the star,” Cook said. “I truly believe he would rather have 10 catches in a loss than four catches in a win. He wants to be the star. He wants to win. Everybody wants to win. But I think he wants his numbers more than he cares about winning.”