Antonio Brown is talking about doing an interview at some point soon. This should terrify both his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Apparently, Antonio Brown really wants to talk. Brown, 30, tweeted that an interview is coming soon with an unknown entity. While many uncertainties surround this picture, there are a few things which can be made clear: Brown is going to shred the Steelers, he’s going to hurt himself, and the media will feast.
NFL teams spend days on end talking about eliminating distractions. Pittsburgh is a perfect showcase for this, with Ben Roethlisberger saying after a disappointing season that Le’Veon Bell’s situation was a distraction. Of course, Bell wasn’t even around the facility all year, so that might say more about the Steelers culture than anything else.
This brings us back to Brown. Brown, who skipped out of practice and a mandatory Saturday meeting in Week 17, left that Sunday’s game at halftime after he was made inactive. This all comes after a cavalcade of other nonsense earlier in the season, ranging from threatening a reporter and being pulled over for driving 100 MPH, to allegedly throwing furniture off a 14th-floor balcony.
With owner Art Rooney stating that he doesn’t believe people change in reference to Brown, that is a gigantic tell. Pittsburgh has endured enough of the circus, even if that circus is a potential first-ballot Hall of Fame act. If traded, the Steelers will eat one year of his deal, get a draft pick or picks, and then gain cap space. The acquiring team gets a superstar wide receiver for three years at $39 million total. The ultimate win-win, at least in theory.
However, Brown can torpedo much of his trade value if this supposed interview goes haywire. No team wants to see the seven-time Pro Bowler get in front of a camera and start taking shots at his employer, especially if he’s airing grievances from within the locker room. Certainly, the Steelers would still be fielding plenty of calls, but the interview would be used as leverage to send back less capital.
Additionally, Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, has to be cringing. Rosenhaus, who has been oddly silent in this situation, is one of the most powerful agents on earth, yet he apparently can’t grab control of his mercurial client.
A call was placed to Rosenhaus for explanation of Brown’s train of thought. It went unanswered. Should Brown really go off about teammates, coaches and ownership, the damage may be irreversible.
It’s an ugly situation for both sides, one that seems destined to end in divorce whether Brown follows through on this ill-conceived interview or not.