Steelers Reporter: This Is The Worst Thing Brown Has Done

Antonio Brown may have played his last game with the Steelers

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
January 02, 2019 - 11:34 am

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After sitting out Week 17 – which was a must-win game for the Steelers – Antonio Brown has reportedly requested a trade from Pittsburgh.

If true, it would not be shocking.

“No, not at all,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Steelers reporter Ray Fittipaldo said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Antonio and the Steelers have had their problems going back to minicamp in June. There’s been something amiss with Antonio all season long. He’s been feuding with Ben Roethlisberger on and off throughout the year, his offensive coordinator, Randy Fichtner, on and off throughout the year. So no, that wouldn’t surprise me at all.” 

The Steelers (9-6-1) beat the Bengals, 16-13, this past Sunday but still missed the playoffs for the first time since 2013. Brown, one would assume, missed the game due to injury, but that might not have been the case.

“They were just shocked,” Fittipaldo said of Brown’s teammates. “There are some long-time professionals. That is a very veteran locker room. That offensive line, some of those guys have been playing together since 2010. Guys like that, I’m sure they’re just looking at each other going, ‘What’s going on here? We’re trying to fight to get into the playoffs, and this guy’s not showing up for work.’ Antonio does have some friends within that locker room, but his behavior in the past week, I think, really did some damage with some others.”

Whether Brown’s fractured relationship with teammates – and the organization – can be repaired remains to be seen.

“I think this is by far the worst thing that he’s done,” Fittipaldo said. “I think people will remember the Facebook Live video after the playoff win in Kansas City a few years back. He was fined for that. He played the next week in the AFC Championship. This feels different. This feels like something that is going to be hard to get over for both sides, but I don’t know what the solution is either. He’s under contract for three more years. If the Steelers do try to trade him, he will count $21 million against their salary cap in 2019 no matter what. So there’s just no easy solution to this.”

Brown, 30, had 104 catches for 1,297 yards and a league-leading 15 touchdowns this season.

“The best-case scenario for both sides is to sort of kiss and make up,” Fittipaldo said. “But given what’s transpired here in the last four to five days, I think that’s going to be hard to do.”