It was a weird week for Antonio Brown.
The Pittsburgh Steelers fell to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 2, losing by a 42-37 score that didn’t fully explain the kind of bizarre performance arrived from the team. In short, the Steelers fell behind by three scores early and generated all kinds of explosiveness on offense, but generally failed to post any resistance to Kansas City’s ridiculous offense on the way to the loss.
As for Brown individually, he accounted for a respectable 67 yards on nine catches, though it has to be noted that the All-Pro wide receiver was targeted 17 (!) times and this showing fell well short of his normal level of efficiency. Beyond that, both Jesse James and JuJu Smith-Schuster eclipsed the 100-yard mark through the air during the game and both managed to score touchdowns despite less big-picture attention in the way of targets.
In addition to the generally dismal afternoon from a success standpoint, Brown had some odd moments during the game itself. The TV broadcast on CBS showed Brown and Steelers offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner getting into it on the sideline.
Then, it didn’t seem as if Brown was particularly pleased following a late touchdown, even as his teammates celebrated an occurrence that actually put the game in doubt in the final minutes.
On Monday, Brown doubled down on the bizarre nature of the weekend with an oddly timed tweet. Former Steelers employee Ryan Scarpino noted that, in his mind, Brown “should thank his lucky stars” that Pittsburgh drafted him and paired the receiver with Ben Roethlisberger, suggesting that was the biggest reason that Brown “got paid.”
That didn’t sit well with Brown.
Obviously, any partnership between wide receiver and quarterback is mutually beneficial and the specifics of which player is more responsible for success can be litigated. Still, the more important takeaway here is that Brown flatly posited a scenario in which the Steelers should trade him to “find out” what happens when he is separated from his current signal-caller.