"I would tell you this: If you are an elite player in the National Football League, then I think yes, this is the approach, this is a page you can take out of Antonio Brown’s book," Moss said on ESPN (h/t Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk). "Stay aggressive, be aggressive."
Moss did point out only those who are talented and important enough to have a secured spot in the league should be as aggressive in forcing themselves out of a situation they may not like.
"If you’re a guy just trying to get a little contract, just to remain on the team, don’t you take Antonio Brown’s approach because you might find yourself at home. So this approach is not for everyone, but it’s an aggressive approach only for the elite," Moss said.
There is no question Brown is one of the elite playmakers in the league.
He is a seven-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro member who has surpassed 1,200 receiving yards in each of the last six years. He led the NFL in receptions in 2014 (129) and 2015 (136), receiving yards in 2014 (1,698) and 2017 (1,533) and touchdown catches in 2018 (15).
While that doesn’t seem like someone a team in win-now mode like the Steelers should look to deal, that is exactly what they did when they traded him to the Raiders for a third-round and fifth-round draft pick, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
Rapoport noted Brown was also set for a reworked contract after the trade, which led to a financial windfall for the receiver:
Before the trade to the Raiders, it appeared as if Brown was going to the Buffalo Bills. However, talks broke down, and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported the 30-year-old receiver "was unwilling to go to Buffalo," leading to a "pretty bleak" trade market.
After all, Brown made no secret he wanted out of Pittsburgh but was apparently unwilling to go to certain teams, limiting the Steelers’ leverage.
In February, Brown tweeted about a meeting with Steelers owner Art Rooney in which "both agreed that it is time to move on." He also missed the team’s Week 17 game against the Cincinnati Bengals following a dispute with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, per Gerry Dulac and Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The end result for Brown was a significant raise, a new team and praise from Moss.