Antonio Brown famously missed the last game of the season for the Pittsburgh Steelers after reportedly getting into an altercation with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Despite only appearing in 15 games this season, and a slow start, Brown still managed to catch 15 touchdowns, the most in the NFL and a Steelers team record. That still wasn't enough to land him on the AP All-Pro First or Second Team (he was a unanimous selection in 2017), which was announced on Friday. It appears as though Brown's late-season antics made some voters weary of the star wide receiver.
According former SI MMQB scribe and current NBC talking head Peter King, he originally had Brown as a First Team All-Pro. but changed his vote after the drama made headlines.
Some are pointing out the hypocrisy of King's moralizing after he voted to include then-accused serial rapist Darren Sharper for the Hall of Fame. Here's a tweet King sent out after Sharper had been arrested for aggravated rape of multiple women:
Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman summed up some of the bias against Brown—though he didn't single out King—in a few tweets that touch on how race plays a role in the moral policing of athletes by journalists, which he believes was responsible for Terrell Owens' extended absence from the Hall of Fame before this past year:
The Brown drama aside, some very worthy players were honored, including Chiefs QB and likely 2018 MVP Patrick Mahomes. Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who led the league with 20.5 sacks this season, was the only unanimous selection with 50 votes.
Mahomes' teammate, WR Tyreek Hill, was also First Team All-Pro at the flex position (RB, WR or TE). The two other wide receivers to make First Team were Michael Thomas of the Saints, who led the league with 125 receptions this year, his first as an All-Pro, and DeAndre Hopkins of the Texans, who had the second-most receiving yards, and the second-most receptions among wide receivers (third overall). Hopkins had the most overall votes for an offensive player with 46.
Tyreek Hill was also selected as a wide receiver on the Second Team along with Atlanta's Julio Jones, who led the league in receiving yards.
Also of note, was the inclusion of the first pair of rookie teammates since 1965, with Colts guard Quentin Nelson and linebacker Darius Leonard. Two other rookies were selected for the All-Pro team—Chargers safety Derwin James and Seahawks punter Michael Dickson, which marks the first time in history that four rookies made the team.
The Bears had four All-Pro selections led by linebacker Khalil Mack (Jon Gruden sniffle). Houston's J.J. Watt and Carolina's Luke Kuechly made their fifth career All-Pro teams as well, the most among this year's team.