Report: Antonio Brown Will Meet with Art Rooney II After Trade Request

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 15, 2019

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown practices before an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
Gary Landers/Associated Press

Disgruntled wide receiver Antonio Brown will reportedly meet with Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney II after requesting a trade, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, despite an earlier report that the star did not intend to sit down with Rooney II.

Rapoport originally reported Rooney is at his residence in Florida and had hoped to meet with Brown to "clear the air," but Brown had no interest in doing so.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Tuesday that Brown formally asked the Steelers for a trade.

Brown also made it clear publicly that he is ready to move on with the following tweet:

Antonio Brown @AB84

Thank you SteelerNation for a big 9 years...time to move on and forward..........✌🏽 #NewDemands https://t.co/fbIoFNdqK4

The final straw between Brown and the Steelers came in the week leading up to their last game of the 2018 season. Pittsburgh needed to beat the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 17 along with a Baltimore Ravens loss to the Cleveland Browns in order to win the AFC North and make the playoffs.

Brown reportedly got into an argument with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, which led to Brown skipping practices and meetings for the remainder of the week. As a result, Brown was not active for the game.

Pittsburgh did go on to win, but it missed the playoffs due to the Ravens beating the Browns.

At the conclusion of the season, Rooney told Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that it would be "hard to envision" Brown being on the team in 2019. Rooney added that the Steelers were considering all options, including keeping or trading Brown.

Drama notwithstanding, the 30-year-old Brown is arguably the best NFL wideout of the past decade, and he has already put up Hall of Fame-caliber numbers.

Brown is a seven-time Pro Bowler and four-time First Team All-Pro who has registered at least 100 receptions for 1,200 yards and eight touchdowns in six consecutive seasons. Last season, Brown made 104 grabs for 1,297 yards and a league-leading 15 touchdowns.

While losing Brown would undoubtedly be a huge blow to the Pittsburgh offense, the presence of JuJu Smith-Schuster could soften it to some degree.

Last season, Smith-Schuster led the Steelers with 111 receptions for 1,426 yards. He is also just 22 years of age and one of the best young wideouts in the game.

Brown seemingly has plenty left in the tank, though, and the saga surrounding him is poised to be one of the biggest storylines of the NFL offseason until the Steelers either trade him or find a way to smooth things over.


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