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Player News - Steelers

Date: Team: Pos:

Speaking in a Monday radio interview, Jerry Rice said Antonio Brown "really badly" wants to play for the 49ers.

Brown apparently conveyed the message to Rice via FaceTime. San Francisco would certainly be a fit but trading the No. 2 overall pick is probably out of the question. NFL.com's Ian Rapoport previously reported the Broncos "may be plotting a run" at Brown, while also mentioning the Jets, Colts and Niners.
Jan 14 - 1:29 PM

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports the Broncos "may be plotting a run" at trading for Antonio Brown.

The Jets, 49ers, and Colts are also expected to have interest. Pittsburgh has made clear they plan to move on from Brown despite his dead cap hit. Brown is entering his age-31 season and is one of the highest paid receivers in the league, so he's unlikely to command the first-round value Oakland got for Amari Cooper. The Steelers may have to settle for a pair of Day 2 picks.
Source: NFL Network
Jan 12 - 2:15 PM

Steelers hired Teryl Austin as a senior defensive assistant.

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, Austin's focus will be on the Steelers' secondary. Austin lasted less than a year as the Bengals' defensive coordinator and has fallen a long way from a few years ago when he was interviewing for head-coaching jobs. Hopefully he'll benefit from a change of scenery in Pittsburgh.
Jan 11 - 3:45 PM

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports the Steelers have not spoken with Antonio Brown since he was deactivated for the team's Week 17 game against the Bengals.

Per reporter Gerry Dulac, Brown has "refused to return repeated phone calls" from owner Art Rooney II and coach Mike Tomlin. He skipped the team's final meetings. "Whether the situation can be reconciled and have him back on the team next year, we’re a long way away from thinking that can happen," Rooney said, expanding on his comments that it was difficult to envision Brown with the team in 2019. "We’re not closing the door on anything at this point." Rooney said the massive $21.2 million cap hit the Steelers would take by trading Brown will not factor into their decision. Rooney sounds 100 percent ready to move on.
Jan 10 - 4:28 PM

Speaking Thursday, Steelers owner Art Rooney II said he was open to trading Antonio Brown, and that it was "hard to envision" him being with the team in 2019.

Rooney said that the only thing not on the table was releasing Brown. The Steelers are not going to give Brown away, but their intentions could not be more clear. The de facto deadline is March 17, when Brown is due a $2.5 million roster bonus. Whatever happened to cause Brown's Week 17 deactivation was the breaking point of a years-long accumulation of events. The best receiver in football turns 31 in July. Despite 2018's ugly turn, he will be in high demand.
Jan 10 - 3:51 PM

ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports there is a "high probability" Antonio Brown is traded.

Brown is due a $2.5 million roster bonus on March 17, so the Steelers will press to get the deal done before then. Trading Brown will cost the Steelers $20.2 million against the 2019 salary cap, but some of that will be negated by the $14.5 million cap credit they will receive because of Le'Veon Bell's holdout. Still, it is a large price to pay to not have one of the best receivers in the league. The Steelers should do everything they can to resolve this situation before resorting to a trade.
Jan 6 - 3:04 PM

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the Steelers are expected to restructure Ben Roethlisberger's contract.

It's expected to be done before the new league year begins on March 13. Roethlisberger is entering the final year of his contract, so restructuring at this time allows Pittsburgh more cap space and the room to potentially move on from Antonio Brown, if the team does in fact choose to go that route this offseason. The Steelers would take on $21.25 million in dead cap (space the team won't have until Ben's officially restructured) if Brown is traded.
Jan 5 - 12:34 PM

NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala reports "multiple teammates" did not believe Antonio Brown was hurt in Week 17 and think Brown quit on the team.

Coach Mike Tomlin asked Brown to get an MRI on Friday last week, and the receiver declined and instead opted to just disappear from the team and never say a word to anyone until Sunday. Deemed inactive, Brown reportedly left the stadium at halftime. Kinkhabwala's reading the tea leaves and opines that Brown is "likely gone" via trade this offseason. A big deal has been made of the $21.12 million dead cap hit trading Brown before June 1 would create, but the real money savings is huge for the Steelers. Brown is due a $2.5 million roster bonus on the fifth day of the new league year in March. And Tomlin has already admitted there comes a point Brown is more of a problem for the team than he is useful. Brown turns 31 this summer and is signed through 2021.
Jan 2 - 1:29 PM

Speaking Wednesday, coach Mike Tomlin expressed disappointment with Antonio Brown bailing on the team ahead of the Week 17 win over the Bengals.

Tomlin stands by the notion that Brown was "sore" on Wednesday and told him to rest and stay off his feet on Thursday. Tomlin then asked Brown to get an MRI on his knee Friday, but Brown declined to do so, left the team, and didn't communicate with the Steelers before Sunday's game. Tomlin said agent Drew Rosenhaus called Tomlin and said Brown was ready to play, but Tomlin said it doesn't work that way and deactivated Brown. Asked if Brown quit on the team, Tomlin said, "You can call it what you want to call it. When we're talking about our darkest hour, playing to win a game and needing help and the guy not communicating is a real element of discussion." Tomlin said he hasn't gotten any official trade request from Brown, but Tomlin did admit there comes a point where Brown becomes more of a problem than he is useful.
Jan 2 - 12:48 PM

The Steelers would absorb a $21.12 million dead-money cap hit if they traded Antonio Brown prior to June 1.

In other words, it's not happening. The Athletic's Mark Kaboly confidently writes "Brown isn't going anywhere" and "will be there lined up in his usual spot like nothing ever happened" come Week 1 of next season. Brown's cap number is $22.165 million for 2019, so trading him would "save" just $1.045 million in cap space if done so before June 1. That's absolutely not worth trading one of the league's very best players, even if A.B. has become a headache. It's worth the headache still. Brown turns 31 this summer and is signed through 2021 after inking an extension in February 2017. A post-June 1 trade would save over $15.1 million, so that would make it more palatable. We still don't believe Brown will actually be dealt.
Jan 1 - 10:58 PM

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports Antonio Brown's trade talk was "more venting in anger than anything."

Per Rapsheet, as Brown "exited the field in frustration" last Wednesday he yelled, "I’m done!" He then apparently proceeded to wonder aloud "why they don’t trade him." All involved agree Brown has not made an official trade request. Brown's most likely Week 1 home remains Pittsburgh.
Jan 1 - 2:22 PM

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports Antonio Brown has requested a trade.

Per La Canfora, Brown is not "demanding" to be traded, though there's no question the diva wide receiver wants out of the Steel City. This comes on the heels of a report that AB was benched for the team's season finale following a practice dispute with Ben Roethlisberger (the quarterback feigned ignorance when asked about it on his weekly radio spot), prompting him to go AWOL for the next several days. While Brown hasn't always been the happiest of campers in Pittsburgh, this is his first known trade request and perhaps a tipping point for the Steelers, who have tolerated his antics with minimal repercussions for years. La Canfora believes ownership is unlikely to accommodate him, though Brown's standing with the Steelers will be a story to follow throughout the offseason.
Jan 1 - 1:01 PM

Speaking on his weekly radio show Tuesday, Ben Roethlisberger downplayed his reported rift with Antonio Brown.

In response to a reported incident at Wednesday's walkthrough, Roethlisberger said, "If there was a blowout, I certainly didn’t see it." He added that the two spoke Thursday morning and that "everything was great," though Roethlisberger did acknowledge "frustration" in Brown being gone late in the week. Despite Pittsburgh citing a knee injury as the reason for his absence in Week 17, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Monday that Brown was actually benched for going AWOL following an outburst at Wednesday's practice that included him throwing a football at Roethlisberger. It's hard to imagine Pittsburgh actually trading its high-maintenance wideout, though Brown's continued antics could force their hand. Mike Tomlin needs to get control of the Steelers' toxic locker room ASAP.
Jan 1 - 11:31 AM

CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reports Antonio Brown's "heated dispute" was with Ben Roethlisberger, resulting in Brown's Week 17 inactivity.

This report was echoed by The Athletic's Mark Kaboly. The football Brown allegedly threw "at a teammate" was directed at Roethlisberger, and Brown made his own decision to stay away from the team on Thursday and Friday. The Steelers did not let him play in Sunday's game. This is nothing a small pay raise wouldn't cure, and each NFL team will be adding $10 million to its salary cap in 2019.
Mon, Dec 31, 2018 04:51:00 PM

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports the Steelers benched Antonio Brown in Week 17 not because he was injured, but because Brown skipped team meetings and sat out practices.

Brown reportedly had a heated dispute with an unspecified teammate, which caused him to stay away from the team. "Several sources" said Brown's Week 17 absence had nothing to do with his listed knee injury. At Wednesday's walkthrough practice, Brown reportedly erupted at the teammate and threw a football at him. He stayed away the rest of the week. Even after doing so, Brown reportedly showed up to Sunday's game, expecting to play. The Steelers did not allow him to. They wound up winning 16-13 but missed the playoffs when the Ravens outlasted the Browns.
Mon, Dec 31, 2018 03:57:00 PM


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