brown-copyAntonio Brown trade talk isn’t going away

Long-time Post-Gazette columnist Ron Cook who is very connected with the Steelers organization and is closer to Ben Roethlisberger than any media member is, had a column about Antonio Brown last week in arguing the Steelers should trade Brown due to the salary cap.

The column had some headline worthy tidbits in the worst kept secret in town that Brown had purposely ran wrong patterns this past season.

[“The distractions are a real problem,” Cook said of Brown. “Brown’s three excessive celebrations penalties early in season were bad there. But there was the incident in the first Miami game when he jogged back to the line of scrimmage, delaying his teammates from running their two-minute offense. In more than one game, he wasn’t happy with how he was being used, he frequently ran the wrong patterns, either because of a lack of focus or worse intentionally. It happened a week in the AFC Championship [game]. That’s inexcusable.”]

The leaks to multiple outlets surrounding Brown over the last couple weeks are said to be coming from players and even coaches, but publicly Brown has received support from Art Rooney II and Mike Tomlin.

The trade talk, though, isn’t going to go away anytime soon until Antonio Brown actually signs an extension.

Scuttlebutt coming out of the senior bowl last month where all NFL clubs convened, [hide] is a team willing to offer the Steelers a top-20 pick and more in what would likely have to be a sign and trade type deal would get Pittsburgh’s attention.

Whether it’s bad intel or not being thrown around by teams, several teams have checked in on Brown’s availability because they believe the Steelers have a wandering eye of what might be out there via trade as some team officials are bracing for a tough negotiation with agent Drew Rosenhaus who has a good relationship with GM Kevin Colbert.

Rosenhaus, though, is stirring the pot a bit right now behind the scenes, the Steelers believe. During Super Bowl week the Florida based agent had told those around the league the Steelers don’t appreciate Brown enough and things could get ugly.

However, the Steelers are not cheap when they’re dead set on paying their own. Aside from the Roethlisberger contract, they made LaMarr Woodley one of the highest paid outside linebackers at the time of his signing in 2011, same with James Harrison in 2009, David DeCastro received a $58 million contract last summer, Cam Heyward was overpaid with a $60 million contract. And they’ll continue to dish out big contracts next to Le’Veon Bell and Stephon Tuitt.

Despite the Steelers telling clubs “hell no” that Brown is available as reported by Mike Freeman of the Bleacher Report, multiple clubs intend to keep a close eye on the situation.

One of the individuals to inquire about Brown was Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam who remains close with members of the Steelers organization.

Who says no to the Browns offering the 12th overall pick?

— Final decisions on the Steelers coaching staff will be made this week. If Joey Porter were to lose his job for next season because of the southside incident weeks ago, it would be coming from ownership not Mike Tomlin. Indications for a while now is that Tomlin has been grooming Porter to become the Steelers defensive coordinator in the next couple years. The two are extremely close. It would be a big surprise if Porter was let go.

As for 2017, a Steelers source says everyone is being evaluated including the coordinators. One Steelers offensive lineman To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!