Antonio Brown Demands Trade

The Steelers are on the verge of losing two potential Hall of Famers in the same off-season.

February 13, 2019 - 10:58 am
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February 12th was quite a day for Antonio Brown. He was found guilty of reckless driving after failing to show up for court. He was cited in November for allegedly driving triple digits through Ross Township, Pennsylvania. 

And then shortly after that news broke, Brown jumped on twitter:, QUOTE: ‘Thank you Steeler Nation for a big 9 years...time to move on and forward’..........with a peace out emoji and hashtag newdemands

That sounded like the tweet of a guy who’d just been traded or released. But come to find out, neither of those things happened. He hadn’t been traded and he hadn’t been released. He just wants out.

Look, AB may have OFFICIALLY requested a trade yesterday, but he UNOFFICIALLY did it the minute he started burning every bridge in Pittsburgh. 

Dude was clowning his head coach on Instagram. He was ignoring phone calls from the owner. I don't want to get too technical here, but I'm pretty sure when you're out there roasting the two most important guys in the org chart, the coach, and the owner… you're probably sending a very specific message whether you made that message official or not. 

And it continues a pretty horrendous offseason for his rep. There’s been one ugly story after another, one reported legal issue after another, and we’re still only in mid-February.

There is plenty of blame to go around in Pittsburgh for this situation and how things got so bad, but lately it seems like Brown is trying to hog it all himself. 

And that reckless driving charge and weird tweet aren’t helping his rep, they’re hurting it. Of course the moment a tweet like that hits the internet, people are freaking out. 

You’ve got media outlets rushing to put together trades and Photoshop him into new jerseys. Is it the 49ers? The Jets? The Patriots? The Ravens? How about Cleveland Brown Antonio Brown? 

And you’ve got one Pro Bowler after another tweeting at him to join them. 

And maybe that’s what he was looking to get out of yesterday. Maybe he needed a quick hit of that Twitter run and some Twitter love, because aside from hurting Pittsburgh’s leverage in a trade deal, what did that tweet accomplish? Nothing changed from before that tweet to after it. He’s still under contract with the Steelers. The financials are still the financials. And a trade still can’t be executed until March 13th.

Really, what is he looking for here? What is the need that he’s trying to meet? Oh…and one more thing. Exactly, why does he want to leave? There’s that part of it. 

Don’t get me wrong. I can see some of it. I can see how he’d be tired of some of the guys in the locker room. That is a room that has a ton of egos and some guys who like to point fingers, but never accept blame themselves. No names mentioned. The freaking quarterback. And I could see how it would piss Brown off that Ben Roethlisberger cracks him publicly;  there’s no need for that: and I could see how Brown might feel like he gets more blame than he deserves or how he just gets tired of being in that situation.

But here’s the thing – there isn’t a better situation for him. There isn’t another team where he could go that would be better. Does he want to win a ring? The Steelers are in the hunt every year. The only spot better for him than that would be New England and there’s no way Pittsburgh lets that happen.

As Jason La Canfora tweeted: They want him but can’t have him. Steelers won’t deal him to NE, BAL, CLE or CIN. Kinda like how Belichick wouldn’t deal Jimmy G to CLE.

Why the hell would they. The Steelers are going to do what’s best for them, not what’s best for Brown. And trading him to a team where he could come back and kill them twice a year is not in their best interests. Neither is trading him to the defending super bowl champs; the team they have to get through to get what they want. 

So does he want a different offense? There’s no other situation with a Hall of Fame quarterback throwing to him and a Pro Bowl wide receiver on the other side. Does he want more targets? How many more does he want? Every single pass?

He seems to have made a lot of noise about San Francisco, but does he really think that Jimmy Garoppolo coming off a shredded knee is better than Big Ben? Does he really think that he wouldn’t be double and triple teamed with the 49ers?

Does he want a situation where the team allows him to come and go as he pleases, to show up late for meetings, etc? Is he looking for a situation where Antonio Brown can be Antonio Brown? Well, he already has that in Pittsburgh.

Let’s recap: 

Ability to contend for a title every year – check

Teammates include a Hall of Fame quarterback and Pro Bowl receiver – check

Catching more than 100 passes every year – check

Flexibility to be himself and not show up to meetings on time or at all – check

ABILILITY to bail on staying in the dorms during training camp with everyone else, stay in a sweet air b and b and be dropped to practice in a Benz.  Check. 

Essentially do whatever the hell he wants…because he works really hard and puts up huge numbers. Bad situation? Sounds like the best situation ever. 

And Pittsburgh has all of that. Nobody else does. And there’s the Pittsburgh side of things. Don’t for a second think that you can replace Antonio Brown. You can’t. You can’t replace a Hall of Fame receiver.

I know JuJu Smith-Schuster is a number one in waiting, but right now you have two number ones and while I’m no math wizards, two number ones is better than one number one. So all you fans who want to say you’ll be better off without him, don’t do that. Just like you’re not better off without Le’Veon Bell... Yet here we are. Here the bleep we are. 

And the Steelers are on the verge of losing two potential hall of famers in the same offseason. You can next man up all you want, you don’t next man two of the league’s top ten players, in their prime. So I’ll say what I said yesterday; this bridge may be obliterated, but you can tell me either the player or the team or better off without each other; they’re not. They need each other. You watch: this divorce is not going to work out well for either side. Neither side will be better for it. 

Unless there’s something that I’m missing, Pittsburgh is the best spot for him. And he’s the best guy for them. Just get into a room, swallow your pride, sort it out like the professionals you’re all supposed to be, and get the hell on with your Hall of Fame careers. Because blowing this up is all wrong.