Tim Benz: Antonio Brown getting his way doesn’t mean Steelers lose | TribLIVE.com
Tim Benz, Columnist

Tim Benz: Antonio Brown getting his way doesn’t mean Steelers lose

Tim Benz
Steelers receiver Antonio Brown acknowledges fans while leaving the field after a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, in Jacksonville, Fla.

Now that “Mr. Big Chest” has spoken, the path for the Pittsburgh Steelers appears to be clear.

Antonio Brown posted a photo of himself with team owner Art Rooney II on social media Tuesday.

He added a message: “Had a great meeting with Mr.Rooney today we discussed a lot of things, and we cleared the air on several issues! We both agreed that it is time to move on, but I’ll always have appreciation and gratitude towards the Rooney family and @steelers organization!”

Wow. That was clear. Coherent. Politically correct. Grateful.

So much so that I am 100 percent convinced Brown didn’t write it himself. Maybe he should’ve let other people handle his social media posts the last few months. That could’ve saved a lot of drama.

By most accounts, the Steelers will try to trade Brown sometime during a five-day window that begins March 13, when the new NFL season opens, and March 17, the date on which the Steelers would have to pay him a $2.5 million roster bonus.

Some who root for — and cover — the team are saying that the club shouldn’t do that. Their theory is, don’t cave to the demands of a player. Make Brown stay and stick it out in Pittsburgh.

ProFootballTalk.com even suggested the Steelers may want to investigate suspending Brown for conduct detrimental to the club.

I appreciate this instinct. Punish the bad kid. Force him to stay here just because he doesn’t want to. Vengeance is best served with a voided paycheck.

I get it.

But how would that action solve anything? Doing that would make a crazy person more crazed.

It might feel good in a vindictive, schadenfreude kind of way. Unfortunately, it does nothing to solve the locker room chemistry problem. Also, if Brown is kept on the roster and doesn’t report, you are then merely tying up cap space in the way you did with Le’Veon Bell last season.

Sure. I hate to see Brown get his way, too. He wants out of Pittsburgh, and he’s probably getting his wish.

That stinks.

In this case, A.B. getting what he wants and what’s best for the team aren’t mutually exclusive.

What’s best for the team is moving on from Mr. Big Chest, his blonde mustache, his Instagram account, his poisonous multiple personalities and his role as ringmaster of Barnum & Bailey on the Monongahela.

At all costs.

Let’s also keep in mind that Drew Rosenhaus, Brown’s agent, said in an interview with ESPN that the Steelers will handle all trade talks. He wasn’t given permission to broker a deal for Brown himself.

Nor was Brown released, as he desired. So it’s not as if Brown is getting everything he wants.

Regardless, “Ronald” can’t be brought back into that locker room. And if the Steelers tried to do so, he wouldn’t show up.

I hope the Steelers trade Brown for the best possible return. Minimal though it may be.

I get fretting over “caving to a player’s demands” and sacrificing value by trading low. But Brown is over the edge at this point. He’s so reckless, unreliable and inconsistent that his departure would be addition by subtraction.

Brown’s greatest value will be seen in his absence. Because his presence is as cumbersome as it is toxic.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

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