While it’s not a guarantee Antonio Brown’s time with the Pittsburgh Steelers is over, it looks like it’s heading in that direction.
The disgruntled wide receiver reportedly had a spat with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, among others, during practice leading up to the Steelers’ must-win Week 17 matchup. Brown ultimately missed the game due to an “injury,” and along the way he was absent from practices and team meetings after the falling out.
Now, team president Art Rooney II is speaking out on the matter. In an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Rooney was asked if he could envision Brown being with the team when training camp commences for next season.
?As we sit here today, it?s hard to envision that,” Rooney told Gerry Dulac. “But there?s no sense on closing the door on anything today. There?s snow on the ground. We don?t have to make those decisions right now.?
While that makes Brown’s future in Pittsburgh look grim, elsewhere in the story, Rooney reiterated that no move is imminent.
?There?s not much we can do right now; we have time to make a decision,? Rooney said. ?We?ll look at all the options. We?re not going to release him, that?s not on the table. But I will say all other options are on the table.
?Whether the situation can be reconciled and have him back on the team next year, we?re a long way away from thinking that can happen. We?re not closing the door on anything at this point.?
NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reacted to the story, noting there will be a market for Brown despite the drama and massive cap hit that comes with him.
Whatever happens with Brown, it’s hard to imagine anything but a messy ending in Pittsburgh.