Photo: Keith Srakocic, Associated Press
Image 1 22
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown has sent strong signals he isn’t happy in Pittsburgh, although many have doubted whether the Steelers would actually cut or trade the All-Pro receiver due to the $21.2 million cap hit he carries for 2019.
That seemed to change on Thursday when Steelers owner Art Rooney II told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette it is “hard to envision” Brown back with the team in 2019.
“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.”
In other words, the Steelers are definitely open to trading Brown later in the offseason.
“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,” he said. “We’re not closing the door on anything at this point.”
According to Rooney, the Steelers are prepared to eat the $21.2 million cap hit if need be.
“That has to be taken into consideration, but, as I sit here today, I’m not going to say that’s going to box us into anything,” Rooney said of the dead money. “If we decide something has to be done, we’ll figure out how to deal with that.”
Brown is due a $2.5 million roster bonus on March 17, and Rooney said the Steelers have until then to figure out what to do.
After Rooney’s interview was published, Brown took to Instagram and Twitter to share a cryptic message accompanied with an old picture of himself standing next to Rooney.
“Good Business #Boomin,” Brown wrote.
49ers left tackle Joe Staley retweeted Brown’s post and added a waving emoji, joining tight end George Kittle, cornerback Richard Sherman and others in flirting with the star receiver on social media.
Brown himself has sent some not-so-subtle messages on Instagram that he has interest in playing for the 49ers.
Rooney’s comments coupled with Staley’s recruitment sent the 49ers fan base into a tizzy.
“OH YEAH STALEY DO YOUR JOB,” one fan tweeted at the left tackle.
Another fan created a version of the now-infamous distracted boyfriend meme with Brown playing the role of the boyfriend.
Brown allegedly stopped going to team meetings after an argument at practice during the final week of the regular season.
The receiver was informed that he would not play in the team’s Week 17 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, and reportedly left the stadium at halftime.
Start receiving breaking news emails on wildfires, civil emergencies, riots, national breaking news, Amber Alerts, weather emergencies, and other critical events with the SFGATE breaking news email. Click here to make sure you get the news.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/49ers/article/Antonio-Brown-49ers-trade-Steelers-salary-contract-13526670.php.