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Mike Tomlin Shuts Down Idea of Steelers Signing Antonio Brown

Antonio Brown is currently a free agent ahead of the 2022 season.

Recently, the wide receiver tweeted that he wants to retire a Steeler, the team he played at for his first nine years in the NFL before controversy began to cloud his career

On Tuesday, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was asked about the potential of Brown returning to Pittsburgh while appearing on The Pivot Podcast.

“Y’all know that ain’t happening,” Tomlin said. “In terms of putting a helmet on and running out of the tunnel and playing ball and stuff like that man. You know he’s moved on and we’ve moved on. We can sit around and chop that up like it’s a realistic conversation, but we know that’s not realistic.”

The 33-year-old left the Steelers in 2018 after he was dissatisfied with the team behind-the-scenes. After a trade request, he was dealt to the Raiders. So, Brown and the Steelers didn’t necessarily end on the best of terms.

But, Brown’s best seasons in the NFL came during his tenure with the Steelers. All his seven Pro Bowl and four All-Pro seasons came while he was in Pittsburgh.

“What I’ll say about AB is this man, we had nine great years,” Tomlin said. “I appreciate that dude in ways I can’t explain to y’all. I won’t even bother to attempt to explain to y’all because it sounds like I’m defending him in some way. And to me from that standpoint the nature of our relationship and what we all did together requires no defense. You could digest it however you want to digest it. [Tomlin blows a kiss.] I don’t think enough gets said about the will of that dude. About the work ethic of that dude. About the fearlessness that he played the game.”

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Brown didn’t even play in one regular season game with the Raiders after the trade from Pittsburgh, and was released after a drama-filled preseason. He played one game with the Patriots during the 2019 season, but was released after he reportedly sent “intimidating text messages” to a woman who claimed that Brown made an “unwanted sexual advance” towards her in 2017. On Sept. 10, 2019, Brown was accused of sexual assault by former trainer Britney Taylor. The two settled their civil case in April 2021.

Brown played the last two seasons on the Buccaneers after the team picked him up mid-season in 2020. His only Super Bowl title came with the Buccaneers in the 2020 season. However, his career in Tampa Bay ended when he walked off the field during the team’s game vs. the Jets this last season, ultimately causing him to be released from the team.

It’s unclear if Brown will end up somewhere new in the NFL, but according to Tomlin, there will not be a reunion in Pittsburgh.

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