Some teams start their offseason better than others. The Steelers are not one of those teams.
After a season-long saga starting running back Le’Veon Bell and his contract situation, Mike Tomlin’s team has alienated perhaps its best player.
All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown has reportedly requested a trade from the Steelers, per Jason La Canfora. The important stipulation here was that he simply asked to be dealt, not demanded.
Antonio Brown has requested a trade. Im told it was not a demand but he has asked to be dealt. Very unlikely Rooney would capitulate. Brown has issues with Mike Tomlin and Ben Roethlisberger. Feels like the coach is too aligned with the QB.— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 1, 2019
Just yesterday, it was revealed that Brown missed their season finale with the Bengals because he skipped last week’s practice following an altercation with Ben Roethlisberger, not because of his supposed knee injury.
This past summer, Brown actually sent a “trade me” tweet to an angry fan.
Usually when there’s smoke, there’s fire. Brown is clearly fed up with his current team and the way his quarterback is treated in comparison to him. The problem is, Brown’s contract still has a lot of dead money attached to it.
If the Steelers were to trade him before June 1st of this year, they would owe him $21,120,000 million. However, if he were to be dealt after June 1st, he would be owed just $7,040,000 million, per Over The Cap. Brown’s cap hit of $22,165,000 million for the 2019 season is the highest he’ll receive on his current contract.
That figure is still probably too high for Steelers owner Art Rooney II to swallow, but it’s hard to see this relationship be repaired anytime soon. Regardless if he’s traded or not, the reign of the “Killer Bees” that used to decimate NFL defense’s is long over, and the connection between Brown and Roethlisberger may never be fully restored.