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Art II: 'Hard To Envision' Antonio Brown Staying With Steelers In 2019

11 January 2019

Steelers owner Art Rooney told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette on Thursday that it's "hard to envision" the seven-time Pro Bowler as part of the team when they report to camp in July.

In an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Gerry Dulac, Rooney also indicated that "all other options are on the table" when it came to Brown's future, implying that a trade was a strong possibility. But, he's in no hurry.

"Whether the situation can be reconciled and have him back on the team next year, we're a long way away from thinking that can happen".

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And that has now made an offseason for the Steelers that already was sure to be littered with questions about how to prop open that closing window of opportunity a little more ... shall we say ... drama-filled. "We don't have to make those decisions right now".

Brown has not returned phone calls from the team - including Rooney, head coach Mike Tomlin and others who have reached out.

Like clockwork, 49ers offensive tackle Joe Staley continued the team's efforts to recruit the WR, by tweeting a hand-waving emoji at Brown, in response to the receiver posting a picture of himself shaking hands with Rooney. Right now, the Steelers are about $28 million under the cap, but that only accounts for 38 players currently under contract. Pittsburgh may ask for a first-round pick for the receiver.

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Rooney says cap considerations will play a factor in how the Steelers move forward.

Last year, all eyes were on running back Le'Veon Bell.

The only problem is, trading him would be costly - not just in terms of the production the Steelers would be losing.

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Art II: 'Hard To Envision' Antonio Brown Staying With Steelers In 2019