Will Antonio Brown Say ‘Goodbye’ to Steelers Nation?

Emma Shaughnessy '20, Features Editor

For the past few months, sports fanatics have been buzzing about the potential trade rumors regarding Steelers wide receiver, Antonio Brown. In December 2018, Brown began skipping practices and mandatory team meetings after a heated dispute with a teammate. After missing a week of practice, he showed up to the following game against the Cincinnati Bengals expecting to play but was benched and left the game at halftime. Fellow wide receiver, Juju Smith-Schuster, received the title MVP for the Steelers days before, so many fans question if Antonio Brown’s actions were in response to that announcement.

Since then, Brown has made it clear that he wants to be traded to another team after nine years with the Steelers. He removed the name “Steelers” from his Instagram and Twitter profiles and Facetimed Jerry Rice, former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver, about playing for them next season. Rice is not at all deterred by Brown’s recent actions. In fact, he is excited about the possibility of a Hall of Famer playing for the 49ers and remarks that he is, “…looking forward to just passing some of that knowledge on to him and being around this guy because I know he’s a great individual.”

Steelers President, Art Rooney II, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that it would be “hard to envision” Brown with the team at training camp after his disrespectful actions towards the Steelers franchise. Rooney ruled out the possibility of releasing Brown but said that all other options are on the table. The Steelers, although open to a trade, prefer to send Brown to an NFC team so there is less chance that he can affect their record in the AFC. The San Francisco 49ers are an option, but it is one of many. Three teams contacted the Steelers about Brown in February, but the team replied that they would keep Brown until adequate compensation was given. Although Brown is still a member of the Steelers at this point, he posted a farewell video on Instagram thanking the Steeler Nation for nine “big” years. Moving forward, football fans can anticipate that Brown will not be a member of the Steelers for the 2019-2020 season, but it is still up in the air about how that change will be made.