By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Antonio Brown wants out of Pittsburgh. He also wants a new name.
No, the all-world wide receiver isn’t going full Metta World Peace/Chad Ochocinco just yet, but it appears as though he may be close.
Brown — who last week said farewell to Steelers fans without any sort of trade or release being imminent — went on Instagram Live on Monday night while doing some cardio work. In that video, he told the world that he’d no longer like to be referred to as “A.B.” Instead, he’d prefer to be called “Mr. Big Chest.”
The proclamation — serious or otherwise — came on the eve of Brown’s meeting with Steelers owner Art Rooney. Brown had reportedly not been answering calls from the team for some time, but Tuesday was apparently the day that it was time for a serious meeting.
Brown was eager to post a picture of him and Rooney smiling together.
View this post on Instagram
Had a great meeting with Mr.Rooney today we discussed a lot of things and we cleared the air on several issues! We both agreed that it is time to move on but I’ll always have appreciation and gratitude towards the Rooney family and @steelers organization! #CallGod #Boomin
Adam Schefter later reported that the meeting resulted in both Brown’s camp (obviously) and the Steelers agreeing that a trade would be the best route to take this offseason.
It should be noted, too, that in his Instagram Live video, Brown said that he’s really only interested in playing for guaranteed money.
“If your squad out there wanna win, and your squad want a hungry wide receiver who’s the best in the whole world, someone hit my phone up,” Brown said. “Tell ’em I ain’t doing no un-guarantees. I ain’t even gonna play myself no more for this NFL, you heard? I think I done everything. What y’all think? What’s left for me to do? Win the Super Bowl? It gotta be the right team for that, right?”
Tuesday’s flurry of news comes after Brown held an ill-conceived Q&A on Twitter over the weekend — a session which led to him directly calling out Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Tomlin. Peter King reported that at least one team was scared off by Brown’s tweets.
Ultimately, Brown will likely find a team willing to pay him the money he desires for 2019. He’s too good to not find work, and for good money. He’s averaged 1,380 yards and nine touchdowns per year since 2011.
But clearly, from skipping the Steelers’ Week 17 must-win game, to spending the past month-plus burning every last bridge possible in Pittsburgh, to finding himself caught up in a number of issues with the law, any team that makes the move to acquire Brown will probably have to cater to every last desire and request from the soon-to-be-31-year-old receiver. Even then, it’d be hard to know what to expect from Brown.