Art Rooney II seems desperate to be rid of All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown. The Pittsburgh Steelers president said in an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he'd stop short of outright releasing Brown but “all other options are on the table.”
“There’s not much we can do right now; we have time to make a decision,” the team owner said. “We’ll look at all the options. We’re not going to release him, that’s not on the table. But I will say all other options are on the table."
Brown drew the ire of teammates and Steelers decision-makers when he sat out of practice ahead of their Week 17 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals. While Brown was not suspended officially by the team, he also wasn't allowed to play in that game. Rooney said he can't see Brown being with the team when they return to training camp.
"As we sit here today, it’s hard to envision that," he said. "But there’s no sense on closing the door on anything today. There’s snow on the ground. We don’t have to make those decisions right now.”
Rooney also said the team wouldn't be cowed by the significant salary cap hit they will take for trading Brown. The receiver will count $22.1 million against the team's cap should he play in 2019. If he's traded? He'll still count for $21.2 million.
“That has to be taken into consideration, but, as I sit here today, “I’m not going to say that’s going to box us into anything,” Rooney said. “If we decide something has to be done, we’ll figure out how to deal with that.”