Antonio Brown is confiding in another mercurial ex-NFL player. And this one is relaying the clearest evidence yet that Brown wants his time with the Pittsburgh Steelers to end.
Speaking as a guest on Friday’s Pro Football Talk #PFTPM podcast , former NFL star wide receiver Terrell Owens said that he’s been in communication with Brown throughout the year and that Brown has “leaned on me for advice, as somewhat of a mentor, so to speak.”
Owens famously had splits with the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles. He played for five teams over his final eight NFL seasons. And Owens, as the result of his conversations with Brown, believes Brown likewise should change teams.
“I think with him, I think it’s a fresh start to go elsewhere and part ways with the organization and with some of the things than he and Ben (Roethlisberger) have been confronted with,” Owens said, according to Pro Football Talk.
Owens was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last year – but he did not attend the ceremony, upset that he was not voted in sooner. Owens, for better or worse, earned a reputation as perhaps the preeminent “diva” wide receiver during the last decade.
Owens on Friday said he “absolutely” believes Brown wants out of the Steelers’ organization. And Owens made it sound as if Roethlisberger was the primary reason why.
“He wants to move on,” Owens said. “… I don’t like how Ben has kind of thrown him under the bus in certain instances… I think Ben owes him a lot more respect than he has given him… I mean even from the standpoint of him saying he didn’t know anything about a blowup (at practice prior to Week 17) when he was part of the blowup.”
Brown reportedly left the Dec. 26 practice after a confrontation of some type with Roethlisberger, and then he complained of a knee injury. He left the Steelers’ facility early Thursday and did not show up for practice Friday or a walkthrough Saturday.
Tomlin said Brown did not return his calls but that agent Drew Rosenhaus called Tomlin on the morning of game day to tell him Brown wanted to play. Tomlin did not let him, Brown showed up on the field in a fur coat and reportedly left at halftime. He did not show for exit meetings in the days that followed, and multiple high-ranking members of the Steelers (including president Art Rooney II) have since said they have not heard from Brown.
Brown has repeatedly dropped social-media hints that he’d like to play for the 49ers .
Owns said that Brown “has asked me how the Bay Area was on several occasions.”
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris at [email protected] or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.