Antonio Brown brought unwanted distraction to the Pittsburgh Steelers when he posted a video on social media before their conference championship game versus the New England Patriots. However, the incident won’t be a factor in the Steelers’ decision to give him a long-term contract extension this offseason.
Art Rooney II, Pittsburgh Steelers team president said that Brown’s actions were little annoyances. However, he mentioned that the team still values his on-field production than what has happened.
Antonio Brown ‘little annoyance’ but Steelers likes WR
“I’d call them little annoyances, emphasis on ‘little,’ as far as I’m concerned. Antonio [Brown] is a good guy, a good person. I enjoy him as a personal relationship. I think he’s somebody that his teammates like to have him on the team,” Rooney stated to triblive.com.
“He’s a hard worker. So he’s another player we’re hoping to address his contract and have him here for the long term.”
Rooney added that he thinks Antonio Brown is a “big contributor” to the Steelers’ recent success over the last few years. He hopes that the wide receiver (WR) continues to evolve as a player and person. Brown had apologized for the Facebook Live incident.
There were NFL rumors earlier in the week that some members of the team and coaching staff are still not too happy with Brown’s antics. Antonio Brown infamously videoed his head coach Mike Tomlin during one of their post-game locker room huddles and broadcasted it on Facebook Live.
The Steelers head coach was caught calling the New England Patriots “ass****s” days before their conference championship match-up with Tom Brady’s team. The Patriots beat the Steelers, 36-17 to advance to Super Bowl LI against the Atlanta Falcons.
Other offseason contract issues for Steelers
Rooney also addressed the offseason issues for the Steelers. He stated that he expects veteran quarterback (QB) Ben Roethlisberger to keep on playing. But, they should be ready if he decides to retire before the season. The team president also said that they will address Le’Veon Bell’s contract, which is set to expire this offseason.
The unrestricted free agent can agree to a long-term contract extension with Pittsburgh. Or the Steelers can franchise tag him to hold on to their top running back for at least a season.
If the Steelers get back Roethlisberger, Brown and Bell next season, they are expected to be one of the teams to contend for a postseason spot. Pittsburgh’s offseason will be successful if they can convince their veterans to return and sign the younger guys to long-term contracts.
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