Antonio Brown is not being subtle about his desire to leave the Pittsburgh Steelers. As CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora has been reporting for months now, Brown has requested a trade to a different organization. Earlier this week, Brown posted on Twitter that it's "time to move on and forward," while thanking Steelers fans for nine years of support.
Now, Brown is taking aim at the Steelers again. Here's what he tweeted on Friday morning:
Organizations got the fans tricked— Antonio Brown (@AB84) February 15, 2019
So ... things are going well.
In a somewhat surprising mid-day development, Brown apparently reversed his decision not to meet with Steelers owner Art Rooney in Florida in a span of about 100 minutes.
Sources: #Steelers owner Art Rooney II is down in Florida, where has a place, and he hoped to meet with frustrated WR Antonio Brown to clear the air. Brown has no plans to meet with Rooney, as he’s stated his intentions publicly. Talks on AB’s future will ramp up in Indy.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 15, 2019
A development: #Steelers WR Antonio Brown will now meet with owner Art Rooney II, showing respect to the man in charge, sources say.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 15, 2019
But even while reversing that decision, he is not wavering from his desire to be traded. Brown wants to be elsewhere.
Antonio Brown has requested a trade. The #Steelers have not yet decided what to do. But at the very least, the owner will now get to sit down with one of his best players to clear the air and see what will happen moving forward. https://t.co/VwpmeEjKap— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 15, 2019
As we wrote earlier this week, a trade for Brown is somewhat complicated by the financial realities of Brown's current contract. The star receiver has three years left on the four-year, $68 million contract extension he signed with Pittsburgh, and the Steelers would see very little cap savings (around $1 million) if they trade him prior to June 1. If they do so after June 1, they would cut his 2019 cap bit essentially in half (from $22 million to $12 million) but would also carry around $10 million in dead money for 2020.
Trading one of the best receivers in football while receiving only $1 million in cap savings and carrying approximately $21 million in dead money is just not good business. Even cutting the cap hit nearly in half is not necessarily good business because it's not like they can just sign a $10 million receiver and get equivalent production. Still, Brown is adamant that he wants out and it's not like the Steelers have been working overtime to mend the relationship. Rooney's meeting is not exactly a sign of a full-court press, and Brown is still demanding a trade anyway.
In any event, the team is reportedly seeking a first-round pick (and more) in exchange for Brown. That's a high price but Brown is good enough that he should be able to fetch it. It's just a matter of which team is going to be willing to meet the Steelers' ask.