BOSTON (CBS) — A contract dispute forced Le’Veon Bell away from the Steelers this year. Now, internal politics and frustrations threaten to cost the Steelers their other great offensive weapon.
According to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, Antonio Brown wants out of Pittsburgh.
The receiver, who essentially skipped out on a must-win game for the Steelers on Sunday, feels as though head coach Mike Tomlin is “too aligned” with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, according to La Canfora.
“He does not want to be back. He wants to be traded. He has issues with Mike Tomlin, and he feels like Mike Tomlin too often sides with the quarterback. So it’s really issues with both of those individuals that have led us to this point,” La Canfora said on CBS Sports HQ. “We’ll see what the Rooneys do. That’s a family that generally would not capitulate to trade demands. … It sets the stage for Mike Tomlin’s press conference on Wednesday, which will be very interesting to watch very closely around the league and within that organization.”
Brown, 30, caught 104 passes for 1,297 yards and a league-leading 15 touchdowns this season, in 15 games played. In his nine-year career, he’s caught 837 passes for 11,207 yards and 74 touchdowns. The 2010 sixth-round pick out of Central Michigan ranks in the top 35 all time in all three categories.
Earlier this year, Roethlisberger critiqued Brown’s route running on a play that ended in an interception. After that, Brown said he didn’t take the criticism personally, but Brown reportedly had an outburst on the practice field last week. He didn’t practice for the remainder of the week, showed up to the stadium on Sunday but did not suit up, and then reportedly left at halftime.