Art Rooney II may finally get his meeting with Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown after all.
After initially reporting that Brown refused to meet with Rooney during the Steelers team president’s trip to Florida, NFL Network’s Ian Rapaport said Friday that Brown has changed his mind and will meet with Rooney, who has a home in that state.
If the meeting takes place, it will be the first time anybody from the Steelers front office has met with Brown since the end of the season.
Rooney tried to contact Brown when the receiver skipped his exit meeting with coach Mike Tomlin. But Rooney never heard back from Brown, who has three years remaining on his contract.
Brown was requested a trade, and the Steelers are expected to deal him once the new NFL calendar begins March 13. They will have five days to trade him before a $2.5 million roster bonus kicks in.
With the NFL Combine beginning in less than two weeks, the Steelers are expected to intensify their atttempts to deal Brown. Although no deals can be completed until March 13, trades can be agreed to in principle. For instance, the Denver Broncos recently agreed to send a fourth-round draft pick to the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for quarterback Joe Flacco.
Brown hasn’t publicly stated the reason for his absence at the end of the season or his dissatisfaction with the franchise. He has posted a few cryptic messages on social media, including a farewell to fans earlier this week.
On Friday, Brown sent out a tweet that sai, “Organizations got the fans tricked,” which apparently was another unspecified shot at the Steelers.
Brown has ignored messages from teammates and coaches since the end of the season when he was inactive for missing the finale against the Cincinnati Bengals. Brown skipped the team walk through and meeting before the game. He also did not keep a scheduled medical appointment after missing three days of practice because of an alleged injury.
Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at [email protected] or via Twitter @tribjoerutter.