Antonio Brown has been accused of quitting on his team. The Steelers could soon be ready to do the same with their star receiver.
Mike Tomlin spoke to the media Wednesday, and stated there “certainly” is a point where Brown’s production isn’t worth the problems he creates for the team, though the coach wouldn’t comment on whether the seven-time Pro Bowler had crossed that line yet. Last week, Brown reportedly had an altercation with a teammate — perhaps quarterback Ben Roesthlisberger — at a practice, and then missed multiple practices and meetings, before being benched, and leaving at halftime of Pittsburgh’s season-ending win over the Bengals.
Tomlin was asked if Brown quit on the Steelers.
“You can call it what you want to call it,” the coach said.
Tomlin, who said the situation is “something that’s very significant and will be handled appropriately so,” acknowledged that Brown was dealing with a knee injury last week, but the team struggled to get in contact with the receiver, who is scheduled to make more than $12 million in 2019. Tomlin was called by Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, Sunday morning to tell the coach his star receiver was ready to play after missing Saturday’s walk-throughs.
“I outlined to Drew that decisions weren’t made like that, but I would be interested in visiting with him at the stadium prior to the game, but playing wasn’t on the menu,” Tomlin said.
Brown skipped the team’s exit interviews Monday, but Tomlin said the team hasn’t discussed trading the receiver. Brown, who has spent his entire nine-year career in Pittsburgh, has asked for a trade, CBS Sports reported.
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“We haven’t formally received a request in that regard, so I’m not going to speculate on trades and things of that nature,” said Tomlin.
During Tomlin’s press conference, Brown chimed in on social media:
“My opinions may seem limited by people or circumstances. It is then that I remind myself I am in command of my attitude. I am divinely blessed with free will. I utilize that gift, choosing to take charge of my life; to express the creativity, vitality, and wholeness that truly define me.”