We all know what Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown is. He is one of the best, if not the best, wide receiver in the NFL. A 2010 sixth round draft pick that has come out of nowhere to make a serious impact on the game and for the Steelers. The guy is a bona fide playmaker and the closest thing to a video game this league has to offer.
He can do it all, which is maybe the reason why some of the success might just be going to his head. We all know about the infamous Facebook live video that Brown did after the Steelers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional round. He recorded his head coach Mike Tomlin speaking to the team about their AFC Championship opponent, the New England Patriots. In the video, Tomlin called the Patriots a bunch of "a--h----." Now, I'm pretty sure a lot of people would say the same thing about the Patriots, it is just that Brown never should've done that because you don't tick off the Patriots. That's rule number one every year in the NFL. Considering the dominance the Patriots have had over the Steelers during the last six years, you would think Brown would know better. He didn't learn and the AFC Championship game was the same old story.
Let us also not forget that Brown pouted and moaned after running back DeAngelo Williams scored a touchdown in that same AFC Championship game, which cut the Patriots lead, instead of celebrating with his teammates. The reason was because he didn't get the football. In 2015, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin told Brown that he needed to focus on winning championships instead of chasing statistics.
Brown has also been known for touchdown celebrations like twerking and jumping on the bottom of the goal post. Not only that, but he is scheduled to become a free agent after next season and wants a new deal. A deal that the Steelers have held off on for some time. However, it seems that Brown is affecting his teammates and coaches in more ways than just being a very good football player.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazettes Ed Bouchette, Antonio Brown's antics are "wearing thin" on both coaches and players in the organization. Bouchette goes on to state:
"He has one year left on his contract and they promised him this would be the year they negotiate an extension for him. What will he want and what will they be willing to pay? Brown has them over one large barrel."
Another player the Steelers are going to have to pay is running back Le'Veon Bell, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. It is doubtful that Bell is leaving Pittsburgh since the Steelers can use either a long-term deal or the franchise tag. While Brown is a big playmaker, so is Bell and Bell is the engine of that Steelers offense. Whenever Bell is rolling, that dangerous Steelers offense rolls with him.
The Steelers will more than likely pay Brown simply because he is one of the top wide receivers in football. He is a very special talent and you don't ever want a player like that to get away. Even if Brown continues this type of attitude and the Steelers find it better to part ways with him, they will surely ask a lot in return from a trade. Even then, the Steelers will not let that happen. They are one of the top organizations in football for a reason.
The Steelers will do their best to make sure that Brown's mindset is on the task at hand and not worried about the stat sheet or demanding to have the ball on every play. He can't become what Terrell Owens was. A great player with a massive ego, who ends up floating from team to team because of his selfish attitude despite putting up Hall of Fame numbers.
When you look at both Bell and Brown's situation and combine them with the possible retirement of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, it will be interesting to monitor the offseason in Pittsburgh. Remember, their team halted the Baltimore Ravens chances of getting to the postseason just one month ago. The Ravens may not get a better opportunity to overtake the defending AFC North champions. If the Ravens don't, the Cincinnati Bengals might do it.