Steelers president Art Rooney II and wide receiver Antonio Brown finally spoke face to face on Tuesday and if the photo Brown tweeted afterwards is any indication, it was an amicable meeting where both sides agreed that parting ways was in everyone's best interest.
Had a great meeting with Mr.Rooney today we discussed a lot of things and we cleared the air on several issues! We both agreed that it is time to move on but I’ll always have appreciation and gratitude towards the Rooney family and @steelers organization! #CallGod #Boomin pic.twitter.com/DEgURchvhW— Antonio Brown (@AB84) February 19, 2019
"Had a great meeting with Mr.Rooney today we discussed a lot of things and we cleared the air on several issues!" Brown said in a Twitter message posted at 11:06 A.M. on Tuesday. "We both agreed that it is time to move on but I'll always have appreciation and gratitude towards the Rooney family and the Steelers organization!" Brown added the hashtags "#CallGod" and "#Boomin."
This development, which has been weeks in the making, comes hours after Brown posted another message to social media. In that one, which takes place while he works out on an elliptical machine, the wide receiver spoke about his football future.
"If your squad want to win and you squad want a hungry wide receiver whose the best in the whole world, someone hit my phone," Brown said Monday. "Tell them I ain't doing no unguarantees. I ain't even gonna play myself no more for this NFL. ... I think I done everything. What y'all think? What's left for me to do? Win a Super Bowl? Gotta be the right team for that, right? ... If your team got guaranteed money, they want to get to know me and work with me, tell them to call me."
Brown also had another request: He no longer wants to be known as "A.B." but instead would like to be referred to as "Mr. Big Chest."
No word on whether that came up in his meeting with Rooney. Either way, it's crazy to even have this conversation; Brown led the league with 15 touchdowns in 2018 and he's had six straight seasons of at least 1,200 receiving yards.
Yet here we are. Rooney told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette last month that it would be "hard to envision" Brown with the team in training camp, adding that while they wouldn't release the mercurial star, "all other options are on the table."
Since the season has concluded, Brown has tweeted about his Pro Bowl snub, tweeted a cryptic response to Rooney's original remarks, been called out by former teammate Ryan Clark, and took to Instagram -- along with Chad Johnson -- to defend himself. The Friday before the Super Bowl, Brown made an appearance at an Atlanta mall to sign autographs and take pictures with his fans but wasn't taking questions from the media.
Brown, who will turn 31 this summer, has played his last game for the Steelers. Now the question becomes what can Pittsburgh get for him. The Cowboys gave up a 2019 first-round pick for Amari Cooper but Cooper is 24 and considered a good teammate. If the Steelers can get a second-rounder for Brown it's hard to imagine they'd turn it down.