Published: Thu, January 03, 2019
Sports | By Sarah Myers

Steelers' Antonio Brown problem worsens while Bengals finally start over

Steelers' Antonio Brown problem worsens while Bengals finally start over

Of course, the Steelers have much bigger issues than spending their January on the couch, as star wide receiver Antonio Brown missed Pittsburgh's Week 17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals and now appears to be at odds with both quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and head coach Mike Tomlin. They discuss how the Steelers should handle the situation.

Amid the Antonio Brown controversy came in starting QB Ben Roethlisberger who chose to throw Le'Veon Bell under the bus and essentially blame him for the team falling apart towards the end of the season and missing the playoffs. He said Brown had soreness in his knee, ankle and feet last week, so he was sent for an MRI on the knee Friday.

Tomlin said that "it became hard to communicate" with Brown on Friday evening and Saturday.

Asked Wednesday if he thought Brown quit on the Steelers, Tomlin responded that "you can call it what you want to call it".

"Each guy's got to answer that question on their own", Roethlisberger said. While Brown also wondered aloud whether the Steelers should trade him, a source told Rapoport that Brown was simply frustrated and was not making a trade demand. ESPN's Adam Schefter says Brown didn't appreciate Roethlisberger wanting him to run a hot read over again during a walk-through. With three years left on his contract, Brown is owed $22 million for 2019.

It hasn't stopped. As Tomlin spoke, Brown - who has two years remaining on his four-year, $72 million deal he signed in the spring of 2017 - published a post on Instagram to his 3.1 million followers saying "I am divinely blessed with free will. I will certainly talk to him".

With the Steelers underperforming this year, failing to make the playoffs in a season in which they had Super Bowl hopes, there's a lot of blame to go around.

"We're going to deal with it appropriately, we're going to deal with it in house, and I'm sure that you'll hear about the intimate details, but because we're not playing a game this week, it hasn't been addressed at this point", said Tomlin.

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