Art Rooney II: Hard to Believe Antonio Brown will be a Steeler Next SeasonBy David A.
Art Rooney II told a Pittsburgh daily that Antonio Brown would not be released but every other option was on the table with regard to the wide receiver’s future with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Brown’s absence from Week 17 practices resulted in the wide receiver’s benching during the final game of the season. He sat out the game against AFC North rivals the Cincinnati Bengals. During the same week, an incident took place involving Brown while in a team setting.
Art Rooney II told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that it was hard for him to envision Brown with the Steelers when the team begins training camp near the end of July.
Rooney said all options other than releasing Brown would be looked at. As well as that, the team was a long way from believing any type of reconciliation can be reached.
Trading Brown can’t be done until the start of the new NFL year on March 13. More importantly, a roster bonus of $2.5 million is due for Brown on March 17. That could be more of an incentive to move the receiver than just the start of the new league year.
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Art Rooney II added that implications to the salary cap would not affect the Steelers in the Brown situation. He added that he and head coach Mike Tomlin have not had conversations with Brown.
No trade has been formally requested by Brown, but sources close to the wide receiver said Brown was frustrated with the team dynamics and has mentioned his desire to be traded since the end of the regular season.
After Rooney’s comments were made public, Brown released a tweet of a photo of he and Rooney from February 2017. The photo shows the pair shaking hands to announce the contract extension of Brown.
Rooney added that he would speak with a few of the key players on the Steelers to see what their feeling is about Brown returning to play next season.