Pittsburgh Steelers owner and president Art Rooney II wouldn't say it outright, but he did seem to hint at the team preparing to move on from Pro Bowl wide receiver Antonio Brown.
According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Rooney said that he won't be releasing the disgruntled wideout, but "all other options are on the table." Rooney also acknowledged that it's "hard to envision" the superstar pass-catcher playing for the Steelers again.
That could very well mean trading Brown, whose behavior in the final days of the regular season has led to non-stop trade rumors.
After the team's Week 17 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, it was reported by Gulac and Ed Bouchette that Brown skipped team meetings and practice - following a confrontation with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. That led to head coach Mike Tomlin benching Brown for the team's final regular season game.
According to Gulac and Bouchette, Brown threw a football in the direction of Roethlisberger during a practice two weeks ago. The 30-year-old failed to return texts and calls from his teammates.
Multiple reports have suggested that the Steelers are prepared to trade Brown, who has gotten in trouble with the team many times before. Former teammate and safety Ryan Clark recently said on ESPN that he nearly got into a fight with Brown back in 2012, when the latter was disrespecting other players and defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.
The Steelers have put up with Brown's antics in the past, mainly because he's been such a great player on the field. He's now registered six straight 100-catch and 1,000-yard seasons. But all good things must come to an end, and that seems to be the case with Brown in the Steel City.
What This Means
It would be quite a surprise if Brown plays again for the Steelers, given the rocky relationship he has with teammates and coaches. The Steelers will have no problem finding a taker for the Pro Bowl wideout, even if he turns 31 years of age and is signed for three more seasons at a hefty price.