On Thursday, Pittsburgh Steelers president Art Rooney II did not do much to assuage Steelers fans who are hoping for an Antonio Brown return in 2019, as Rooney said that it is now hard to imagine Brown being on next year's roster.
The Steelers found themselves in this situation - where their best skill-position player has demanded a trade - after Brown skipped out on practice before the team's do-or-die season finale against the Bengals and didn't play in the game. But, he's in no hurry. "We're not going to release him, that's not on the table". With the Steelers already on the hook for Brown's $21.2 million cap hit next season, they'll likely want to deal him before the 17th to avoid committing any more money to him. According to the article, no one from Pittsburgh's front office or coaching staff has even spoken to Brown since December 30, which was the team's final regular season game.
"That has to be taken into consideration, but, as I sit here today, I'm not going to say that's going to box us into anything", Rooney told Dulac. "We have a way to go before we feel good about that". "We don't have to make those decisions right now". A trade for Brown makes a lot of sense for the Raiders, given the state of their wide receiver corps. A divorce between the two seems more likely now with Rooney speaking than it didn't before.
While the Steelers' season is in the books, they aren't allowed to make any roster changes until March 13 - that's the first day of the National Football League off-season. "That's one of the reasons I would have liked to talk to him about it - what it was and how it got to this point".
Brown ranks second in Steelers history behind Hines Ward in career receptions (837), receiving yards (11,207) and touchdown catches (74).