Amid drama and non-stop trade rumors centering around Antonio Brown, former teammate and Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark brought up an incident involving the Pro Bowl wide receiver back in 2012.
On ESPN (h/t Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk), Clark brought up a confrontation that took place between he and Brown back in 2012. Clark said that the two almost got into a fight, because Brown was disrespecting veteran players and defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.
"Coming into the next practice, he just got his money, he cusses out Dick LeBeau. Coach LeBeau, somebody who Troy (Polamalu), myself, James Farrior, all respected so much that anything he ever said, there’s no reply," Clark explained. "We almost got into a physical altercation that day, me and Antonio Brown. Because my thing was, this is not how we behave. This is not how we act. And for sure we don’t talk to Coach LeBeau that way."
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Brown missed practice last week following a confrontation with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, which culminated in the former throwing a football in his teammate's direction. Brown skipped team meetings and practice, which prompted head coach Mike Tomlin to bench brown for their Week 17 game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Roethlisberger later said that Brown hasn't returned his phone calls or text messages. ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported last week that the Steelers are expected to trade Brown in the offseason, so it does sound like No. 84 has already played his last game with Pittsburgh.
Clark played with the Steelers from 2016 to '13, and he was part of their Super Bowl XLIII championship team. Like the aforementioned Polamalu and Farrior, Clark was respected in the Pittsburgh locker room, and he wouldn't tolerate such behavior from what Brown has displayed.
Clark also said that Tomlin allowed the Brown situation "to get out of hand," and that the whole saga "has been weighing on this team all year."
Brown is signed for three more seasons, and the Steelers shouldn't have a problem trading him. The Pro Bowl wideout has registered 100-catch and 1,000-yard seasons in each of the last six years now.
What This Means
Clark's story gives more insight as to what some Steelers players have had to deal with. Brown has been with the team since the 2010 season, but it doesn't sound like they'll be putting up with his behavior any longer. That's why it would be a surprise if Brown wasn't traded after this season.