Free-agent wide receiver Antonio Brown is looking to mend fences with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The wideout left the Steelers in 2019, and his departure was not on the best of terms.
Brown spent his first nine years in Pittsburgh, establishing himself as one of the NFL's best pass-catchers. He signaled Monday he'd like to bring his career full circle:
Signing a one-day ceremonial contract to officially retire as a member of the Steelers would reflect Brown's place in the franchise's history.
Neal Coolong @NealCoolong
Antonio Brown should have retired with the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Steelers?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Steelers</a>. None of what followed his departure should have happened. He should be talked about among the 5 best receivers to ever play. None of this is even debatable, but it's insanely frustrating for everyone involved.
The 33-year-old is second all-time in receptions (837), receiving yards (11,207) and receiving touchdowns (74), trailing Hines Ward in all three categories. He also put himself on a possible Hall of Fame track in Pittsburgh, going to seven Pro Bowls and earning four All-Pro nods.
Brown was one of four wideouts alongside Larry Fitzgerald, Calvin Johnson and Julio Jones on the All-Decade Team for the 2010s. Johnson is already enshrined in Canton, Ohio, and Fitzgerald is a virtual lock to join him. Both Jones and Brown have put together HOF-worthy resumes as well.
But the Steelers might not be willing to extend an olive branch.
ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported in January 2019 how the relationship between Brown and the team had steadily broken down, with one former Steeler saying the discord had "been brewing for years."
There's also the drama that has followed Brown following his departure from Pittsburgh, between his ill-fated tenure with the Oakland Raiders and his quitting in the middle of a game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
It's doubtful that too many Steelers fans will be heartbroken if Brown is denied the opportunity to hang up his cleats in the Steel City.