Antonio Brown can go bonkers somewhere else

By – – Monday, March 4, 2019

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

has become arguably the ’s best receiver. His entire career has been with the Pittsburgh Steelers, one of the most successful franchises, with the majority of catches courtesy of Ben Roethlisberger, one of the top quarterbacks.

From all appearances, Roethlisberger can be a bit of a jerk and we now know the duo didn’t get along off the field. Turns out that their on-field relationship wasn’t much better, just masked by the prodigious statistics they produced.

But the mask is off and so are the gloves, with Brown stating loudly and repeatedly that he wants out.

reportedly is among the teams expressing serious interest in acquiring the contentious superstar. From a pure talent standpoint, the attraction is understandable. The team has a dearth of playmakers and Brown makes extraordinary plays on a regular basis. He would fill a gap like few others could.

However, I would not bring Brown to Ashburn.

If he’s acting up with Pittsburgh — where he has reached the playoffs in six of nine seasons and never experienced a losing record — he’s liable to go completely bonkers with . If he’s being disrespectful toward an organization that’s among the league’s‘ strongest and most stable in terms of leadership, there’s no reason to expect compliance under D.C.’s three-ring circus.

Teams that seek to employ such combustible talents must possess a certain culture and structure, from the top down. New England is the best example, where Bill Belichick can turn former malcontents into happy campers once he indoctrinates them with the Patriot Way.

Adding Brown to would be like adding hot coals to a tub of partially-melted margarine; he’ll only make it worse and leave a big mess. Don’t take my word for it. Listen to the man himself.

“I don’t even have to play football if I don’t want,” said Saturday in an ESPN interview. “I don’t even need the game, I don’t need to prove nothing to anyone. If they wanna play, they going to play by my rules. If not, I don’t need to play.”

So the next team must play by ’s rules? Not the coach’s rules, or the general manager’s rules, or the owner’s rules? As much as we legitimately question Jay Gruden, Bruce Allen and Dan Snyder, we can’t endorse turning over the franchise to a diva wide receiver, no matter how gifted.

’s interviews and social media chatter since the end of last season should be enough to scare off teams like Snyder’s outfit, which is administratively challenged. Discipline hasn’t been a strong suit of the coaching staff or front office. could put up some monster games (provided the team fields a sentient QB), but other highlights would take place in the locker room, where he’d expose the team’s ineffective central control.

To be clear, I understand why Gruden & Allen are tempted.

is an otherworldly player, owner of an -record six consecutive 100-catch seasons. He led the league in touchdown receptions last year, despite missing the last game for disciplinary reasons. He has twice topped the in receiving yardage, and he shows no signs of slowing down (yet), as his 31st birthday approaches in July.

But questioning his commitment and dedication is fair. He went AWOL in the run-up to Pittsburgh’s season finale, which led to his benching in a must-win game. During the ESPN interview, he bragged about his net worth, described himself as an entrepreneur, and insisted that he doesn’t need the game.

Instead, he needs a new contract, one that doesn’t include “unguarantees,” as he calls them on social media. Pittsburgh made the game’s highest-paid receiver following the 2016 season, but he’s been overtaken by Odell Beckham Jr.

“If your team’s got guaranteed money, they want to get to know me and work with me,” he said during an Instagram video earlier this offseason. “Tell them to call me.”

Someone should disconnect the lines at team headquarters in Ashburn. Or steal management’s cell phones. Or tie the front-office staff in the basement until Pittsburgh makes a deal with another team. Whatever it takes.

Let get with Jon Gruden and move to Las Vegas in 2020. Step aside as he relocates to Tennessee and adjusts to Marcus Mariota’s scrambles. Allow him to break in Arizona’s rookie coach, Kliff Kingsbury, or teach Denver’s John Elway another lesson in team-building.

All of those would be much better landing places for .

At least for ’s sake.

⦁ Deron Snyder writes his award-winning column for The Washington Times on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Follow him on Twitter .

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