Steelers' Rooney: 'Hard to envision' Brown staying

Antonio Brown Peter King

Antonio Brown Peter King

In an exclusive interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Steelers president Art Rooney II said Thursday the team would not release Brown. "We're not closing the door on anything at this point". As Dulac pointed out, Brown is slated to receive a $2.5-million bonus from the club on March 17 and logic tells us the Steelers would more than likely target that as their decision date.

Brown, 30, did not play in the Steelers' regular-season finale, which saw Pittsburgh miss out on the playoffs despite a 16-13 win over the Bengals.

According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin wants to add to his staff, bringing another full-time assistant beyond the staff he carried past year.

If Brown is traded, the Steelers would save $1 million in cap space but would be stuck with a dead-money hit of just over $21.1 million.

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Despite his excellent play, oddsmakers don't anticipate Brown being back in Pittsburgh next season. "If we decide something has to be done, we'll figure out how to deal with that".

Rooney acknowledged that teammates' opinions about Brown possibly returning in 2019 will be factors in the decision-making process. Brown recently unfollowed his current team on social media and started following the 49ers, several of its players, and liked 49ers-related content, especially content which pushed a Brown-to-San-Francisco message.

"My belief is there's more to it than an incident one day at practice", Rooney said.

Shortly after Rooney's comments went viral on Twitter, Brown posted a photo of himself with the Steelers owner along with the caption "Good Business". He posted 100-plus receptions and 1,200-plus yards for the sixth straight time this season and led the league with 15 touchdowns.

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