Steelers owner weighs in on ‘disappointing’ Antonio Brown situation
Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney II met with the media Wednesday to discuss several topics, but perhaps the most intriguing comments surrounded the ongoing Antonio Brown saga.
Rooney, who said last week that it’s “hard to envision” seeing Brown with the Steelers next season, nevertheless indicated there have been no trade talks involving the disgruntled wide receiver, per a tweet from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette.
Regarding Brown’s controversial benching in the Steelers’ season finale under inauspicious circumstances, Rooney stated the wide receiver had not been a distraction up to that point but “obviously that changed.”
Art Rooney II said situation changed w/ Antonio Brown in the last weekend of the season, and he’s not sure why. AB wasn’t a distraction but “obviously that changed. I’m very disappointed in where we are and what happened and don’t have a lot of good explanations for it.”— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) January 16, 2019
Rooney added that Brown did the bare minimum of “what he needed to do” to avoid having his final game check voided.
Art Rooney said Antonio Brown received his final check despite basically quitting on the team. “He probably did what he needed to do to avoid his last check being voided.”— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) January 16, 2019
That said, Rooney insisted the team is “not closing any doors” on the Brown front, despite how “disappointing” it is how Brown remains out of contact with the team.
In interview with a group of reporters, Steelers president Art Rooney II said “we’re not closing any doors” on Antonio Brown but signs of him staying don’t look positive. Rooney still hasn’t spoken to Brown, which he calls ‘disappointing,’ but makes clear he won’t disparage him.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) January 16, 2019
There is certainly a lot to unpack from Rooney’s comments. What’s more, given the twists and turns in recent days and weeks — of which there have been many — it’s difficult to predict what may happen next.
Through it all, however, all the ugliness that has transpired between Brown and the Steelers lends to the notion that the parties have reached the point of no return, despite Rooney’s comments indicating that may not necessarily be the case.