Antonio Brown: If New Team Won't 'Play by My Rules...I Don't Even Have to Play'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 2, 2019

Antonio Brown, receptor de los Steelers de Pittsburgh, sonríe a un costado del terreno, antes de un partido ante los Bengals de Cincinnati, el domingo 30 de diciembre de 2018 (AP Foto/Don Wright)
Don Wright/Associated Press

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown said any NFL team that acquires him in a trade before the 2019 season will have to "play by my rules."

On Saturday, SportsCenter aired an exclusive interview between Brown and ESPN's Jeff Darlington about what went wrong in Pittsburgh and his message to general managers who may be concerned with his falling out with the Steelers.

"I don't even have to play football if I don't want, bro," he said. "I don't even need the game. You know what I'm saying? I don't need to prove nothing to anyone. If they wanna play, they gonna play by my rules."

Here's a look at the complete conversation between Brown and Darlington:

Last month, the 30-year-old Miami native wrote on Twitter he met with Steelers president Art Rooney II and the sides agreed to go their separate ways:

Antonio Brown @AB84

Had a great meeting with Mr.Rooney today we discussed a lot of things and we cleared the air on several issues! We both agreed that it is time to move on but I’ll always have appreciation and gratitude towards the Rooney family and @steelers organization! #CallGod #Boomin https://t.co/DEgURchvhW

Pittsburgh must find a trade partner to accommodate the wideout's request, though. The front office would likely prefer to make a deal before March 17, when he's due a $2.5 million roster bonus, per Spotrac.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported Friday the most active teams in Brown discussions have been the Oakland Raiders, Tennessee Titans and Washington Redskins.

Brown, a sixth-round pick out of Central Michigan in 2010, is putting together a Hall of Fame resume, but issues toward the likely end of his Steelers tenure could scare away some teams. He missed Pittsburgh's Week 17 game following a rumored dispute with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

His comments to Darlington will probably cause further pause, especially since he didn't accept any fault for the situation.

"I don't take any blame," Brown said. "I just think I took responsibility for my situation. You know, I didn't point the finger. I didn't make no one look bad. I didn't throw no stones at anyone."

That said, it's a results-based business, and few offensive skill position players have made a larger impact than Brown throughout his career. So another team will likely take a chance on him with hope the distractions don't pop back up after the trade.