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Tim Benz: Drew Rosenhaus’ Antonio Brown interview should anger every Steelers fan | TribLIVE.com
Tim Benz, Columnist

Tim Benz: Drew Rosenhaus’ Antonio Brown interview should anger every Steelers fan

Tim Benz
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AP
Sports agent Drew Rosenhaus is shown before an NFL football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams in Santa Clara, Calif., Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

If you weren’t sick to death over the Antonio Brown trade to Oakland, Drew Rosenhaus’ weekend interview on the NFL Network probably put you over the top.

It did for me.

I saw the interview shortly after it was agreed that Brown would be dealt from the Steelers to the Raiders for a third- and fifth-round draft choice.

When I heard about the trade, I was in a Bermuda Triangle of football emotion. I was lost among being bemused that the return was so little, being relieved that the Mr. Big Chest odyssey was over and being disappointed that it all had to end this way.

Then I saw Rosenhaus’ interview, and it all turned to blind rage.

“It was time to move on,” Rosenhaus said. “We’re thankful that the Steelers were able to get compensation for him. Everybody wins here.”

Yes. He said that with a straight face. “Everybody wins here.”

The Raiders got Brown. Rosenhaus and his client are getting paid. The Steelers are getting two mid-tier picks for one of the best receivers in the game. How did the Steelers “win” here, exactly? Maybe they’ll be better off in the long run with Brown’s shenanigans shipped out to California. But that would be more an indictment of Brown than a commentary on how the club made out in the deal.

Plus, his effusive praise of the Raiders sure felt like a backhanded shot at the Steelers.

“It’s hard to reach your potential if you don’t have an offensive coach or a quarterback that can help you execute,” Rosenhaus said. “We’re thankful Antonio got a new contract. We’re thankful that he is with Raider Nation, one of the marquee franchises in the NFL. And we’re very excited that he has a terrific coach (Jon Gruden) and a great quarterback (Derek Carr).

“When you play for so many years with Ben Roethlisberger, I think it is important you continue to have good quarterback play.”

At least he worked in a compliment for Big Ben. That is if you consider getting compared to Derek Carr a compliment.

No such love for Mike Tomlin, though. Interesting.

Yeah. Too bad poor Antonio was never on a marquee franchise in Pittsburgh with those six Super Bowl trophies. At least now he gets to go to Oakland, with one season above .500 since 2002.

Let’s hope Brown can finally reach that “full potential” after his piddly seven Pro Bowl seasons in Pittsburgh.

What a slap at a Steelers organization that bent over backward for his client for nine years and paid him nearly $70 million. Not to mention that this is a team that has dealt with Rosenhaus fairly on many levels, many times over. Kevin Colbert has even publicly gone out of his way to praise Rosenhaus’ approach as an agent.

I wonder if he feels the same way now.

Then there was that phony, patronizing praise of NFL Network analyst-turned-Raiders general manager Mike Mayock, in his first negotiation as a general manager.

“By the way, Mayock is a very talented general manager and a tough negotiator. Any chance you guys would take him back?” Rosenhaus said as he paused for the requisite amount of fake laughter. “You guys would’ve thought that Mike Mayock was a veteran general manager.”

Laying it on a little thick, Drew? If he did such a good job in the negotiation, why did you humble-brag later about how you got an unprecedented contract from him for your client?

“This is the first time that I can remember a player with three years left on his contract who got guaranteed money added to his deal,” Rosenhaus gushed. “And he got a raise without adding any years. Not every team in the league would do that.”

Yeah, Drew, with all that being said, sounds like ol’ Mike had you over a barrel, huh?

Rosenhaus is the guy who somehow crystalized Brown’s scattered-desires-of-a-trade demand, a contract extension and a suitable destination. He took Brown’s jumbled and contradictory thoughts and funneled them to a team that will soon be showcased in Las Vegas.

This likely wasn’t the path Rosenhaus would have chosen — to tell his client to be as insane as humanly possible. But in the end, it worked out for the best on their end.

Brown took care of the online ignition, and Rosenhaus controlled the burn. Watching that interview was salt in the wound because it wasn’t just the mental acknowledgment that this was a guy who greased Brown’s wheels out of town faster than the receiver’s average trip down McKnight Road.

It was how smarmy he was in the process of celebrating.

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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