The rumor announced Friday that Art Rooney II, president and owner of the Steelers team, would meet soon the unhappy receiver, Antonio Brown, in Florida, a state where both have a residence.
It's a rather surprising twist of things, considering Brown, who officially requested an exchange from the Steelers while remaining silent but enigmatic as to his reasons, is apparently "#OpenForBusiness" from every NFL team but one that is supposed to pay it big 17 million dollars in 2019.
Mr. Rooney wants to talk to Brown since the disappointing end of the Steelers campaign in 2018, made even more depressing by the abandonment of his coach and teammates at the 11th hour just days before a regular season final to win . the Bengals at Heinz Field. These actions – skipping meetings and practices – were so blatant, head coach Mike Tomlin, a man who showed a willingness to endure a ton of his star and high-maintenance catcher, turned off Brown despite the # Importance mentioned above. of the final.
Brown immediately separated from his team – his employer – in the days following the end of the 2018 season, and even went so far as to ignore Rooney's calls.
Yet, to his credit, despite his employee's insubordinate actions – including leaving the Bengals game at half-time – Art II continued to call for a meeting with his receiver, and the fact that he was able to To have in person rather than on the phone, is quite remarkable at this stage given the gap that exists between employer and employee.
Brown wants to divorce, but Rooney will not let him out, not without an appointment, without explanation. What will happen to this meeting? Will an agreement be made to retain the star catcher in Pittsburgh in 2019 and beyond? This seems highly unlikely at the moment, with everything that has happened, including recent unstable and rather disturbing behavior on the part of the star receiver. At the very least, we may get some clarity. Maybe the owner will let the star receiver know who is the boss and who holds the leverage in this scenario. Better still, maybe the owner, his father and grandfather before him, always treated their players as a family, will make it clear to Brown that he cares about him, that the Steelers have always concerned about their players. It is difficult to find many former players who have had bad things to say about the Steelers and / or the Rooney family.
But most importantly, maybe both parties could hear about how to go forward. It remains to be seen if Brown remains a Steeler or if his current wish – negotiated – is not acquired, but if the meeting in Florida allows to understand and clarify things, everyone will be for the better.
Perhaps even more remarkable than the impending meeting between Rooney and Brown is the news as recent as the organization has apparently informed the offensive midfielder The Vein Bell, the defenseman of the 2018 season after being crossed for a second year in a row, he plans to use the transition label on him.
Unlike the franchise tag, a transition tag allows a player to go out and reach an agreement on a new contract with another team, a contract that the Steelers will have the right to match.
Why do this? Why not just wash your hands of all the mess and move on? After all, James Conner has proven to be a viable replacement in 2018, and there is no reason he can not be the team's running back, as long as he remains in good health. And even if Conner does not have the means nor the health to be the attack of the future, as proved the companion CJ Anderson last season, when it was signed and that ### 39, he far surpassed Todd Gurley, he signed a guaranteed high season contract – the kind that Bell has been looking for for two years – during the Rams race at the Super Bowl LIII, maybe the Semifinal post is one where you can burn and burn players instead of signing them to huge contracts.
Why? Because why not what does Pittsburgh have to lose, aside from a compensating third round pick in 2020? If the Steelers can get more than that in an exchange for Bell, they must do everything in their power to try to achieve their goals.
If they can not, they can not, but at least they let Bell and other current and future players know that they will not be required to deal with this type of contractual disputes. .
It would be easy to just give Brown and Bell what they want and leave. But by doing so, they could potentially weaken their organization by creating dangerous precedents.
The Steelers may not be able to keep Brown and Bell for financial and locker room reasons, but they can not afford to weaken their organization either.
I believe what the Steelers are currently doing by staying open to business with Brown and Bell, is to let the world know that they are still the Pittsburgh Steelers, a strong organization.