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Steelers News: Could the Patriots help the Steelers trade Antonio Brown, in a way?

Time to check on the latest news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers.

NFL: Super Bowl LIII-New England Patriots vs Los Angeles Rams Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ season is over, but if you think the news surrounding the black-and-gold is over — think again. For the drama-filled Steelers, things are just heating up, and this is where the daily links article comes in. You might have missed some key news, and we fill you in and give you the latest, and sometimes greatest, news surrounding the Steelers.

Today in the Black-and-gold links article we take a look at how in a round about way, the New England Patriots could help the Steelers move Antonio Brown.

Let’s get to the news:

Tim Benz: Did the Patriots create a trade destination for Antonio Brown?

By: Tim Benz, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Buy into this one if you want. I’m all for taking a leap.

If you don’t, though, I don’t blame you. Let me lay it out, and you make up your own mind.

If one national report is right, the New England Patriots — of all teams — may have actually helped the Pittsburgh Steelers find a trade partner if they end up dealing Antonio Brown.

As we all know, ever since Brown made his desire to leave Pittsburgh clear, he has been openly flirting with members of the San Francisco 49ers online. Brown seems drawn to San Francisco because of the connection to Jerry Rice and perhaps their ability to craft a contract extension.

From a Niners’ point of view, they could undoubtedly use a big-time wide receiver as a target for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Makes sense.

So much sense that San Francisco reportedly had an extreme interest in New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. last year, too. A swap never materialized, though.

Apparently, a deal also may have been in the works between the Giants and the Patriots for OBJ. But, if you believe Chris Simms of ProFootballTalk, the very fact that the omnipotent Patriots had such a strong desire to nab Beckham Jr. may have scared the Giants into keeping him on their roster.

Basically, Simms is saying that because the mighty, infallible Patriots saw enough good in Beckham to try to acquire him, the Giants figured, “Well, geez, if those guys want him, he must be worth the headache. So we better keep him.”

I get it. But, c’mon. That’s a little much. Do organizations honestly think that way? Do teams get spooked into keeping guys on the payroll if other teams want them? Even if the Pats are the other team involved?

“We can’t fix OBJ’s attitude. But if he goes to New England, it will get fixed. So we have to keep him here … and continue to not fix him.”

Yeah. Seems weird when you put it in those terms, right?

Furthermore, the Patriots tried to pull that same trick with Cleveland’s troubled receiver Josh Gordon, but it backfired. So, while New England has a Midas touch, it’s not foolproof. Plus, Simms didn’t rule out New York having a change of heart and dealing the kicking-net loving wideout anyway.

(To read more, click the link in the headline above...)

John Steigerwald: Players need to shut up, grow up and play

By: John Steigerwald, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The word is that Antonio Brown and Steelers president Art Rooney II will meet face-to-face in Florida this week, possibly at Brown’s home. If so, the conversation could/should go something like this.

ROONEY: Antonio, nice place you got here. Great view. Not sure if it was a good idea to throw the furniture from this high up but …

BROWN: That never happened.

ROONEY: OK, let’s move on. By the way, I like the new look. Was the blue hair and blond mustache your idea?

BROWN: None of your business.

ROONEY: You’re right. Sorry. Speaking of business, what’s this I hear about you moving on from the Steelers?

BROWN: Yeah. I think it’s time. No offense, but Ben has an owner’s mentality, and I don’t think it’s a good situation for me.

ROONEY: You do realize that you’re under contract to play for the Steelers until 2022, right? And you’re aware that we gave you a $19 million signing bonus and you’re making $17 million a year, correct?

BROWN: Yeah, but Ben …

ROONEY: Yeah, we’re gonna pay Ben at least $17 million next season, depending on the extension we’re probably going to offer him. Anyway, he made $17 million last year. That’s $34 million we’re paying you two guys. Would it be too much to ask for both of you to just shut up and play?

BROWN: Ben disrespected me. I need respect.

ROONEY: Maybe the $68 million I’ve committed to paying you should be all the respect you need. And I don’t need you tweeting pictures of yourself in a 49ers uniform.

BROWN: I think it’s time to move on.

ROONEY: That’s nice. I think it’s time for me to let you know how this is going to work. I’m the guy paying you $17 million a year. I gave you a $19 million signing bonus because I believed you were a good investment. I’m the boss. You are on the books to make $17 million if you play for the Pittsburgh Steelers. You’ve done a great job of reducing your value with your idiotic tweets. There will be no trade. If you play football next year, it will be for the Steelers and nobody else. So I suggest you show up for minicamp — and training camp — where you’ll be staying in the dormitory with everybody else, by the way. If you don’t show up for our first game, you won’t be paid. Your choice. Shut up and play for the Pittsburgh Steelers for $17 million or don’t play for anybody and make nothing. Don’t get up. I’ll see myself out.

BROWN: But my agent is Drew Rosenhaus, and he says …

ROONEY: He knows my number. Tell him to call me, and I’ll tell him what I told you. You play for the Steelers in 2019, or you don’t play and he has nothing to say about it.

Will their conversation sound anything like that? Probably not, but it should. Brown has been doing everything he can to make himself toxic to the Steelers, including putting the blame on the franchise quarterback.

The Steelers can take the easy way out and trade Brown for a second-day draft pick, who, unless he is a serious rookie of the year candidate, will have very little to do with their success in 2019. The message will have been sent to everybody on the roster and every player on every future roster that, if you don’t like the coach or the quarterback or the owner, take your complaints to Twitter, and you’ll be on another team in no time.

Steelers fans already have taken to burning Brown’s jerseys, and most will be happy to see him go but he’s an irreplaceable talent and should be catching passes from Roethlisberger again next year. Mike Tomlin should address the problem the first time the team is together and tell everybody to grow up, shut up and play.

(To read more, click the link in the headline above...)

Steelers players to take part in NFLPA externship program

By: Joe Rutter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Four players on the Pittsburgh Steelers offseason roster are among the 66 players that have been accepted into the NFL Players Association’s externship program, which will take place over the next three weeks.

Taking part from the Steelers are tight ends Christian Scotland-Williamson and Jake McGee, defensive back Malik Golden and running back Malik Williams, who just recently was signed to the team’s offseason roster. Another former Steelers player, tight end Ryan Malleck, also is involved in the program.

The NFLPA externship program is in its sixth year and is working with 27 organizations this season, an increase from 15 a year ago. The NFLPA received 123 applications and chose 66 players that represent 27 of the NFL’s 32 teams. The program runs through March 8.

Among the organizations new to the program are ACE Media, FOX Sports, Ohio State University Athletics and Gatorade Sports Science Institute. Returning to the program are LAPD, NFL Players Inc., StubHub, Under Armour and The Players’ Tribune, among other institutions.

Scotland-Williamson, a former rugby player who is part of the NFL International Player Pathway program, will spend his externship at Under Armour. McGee is involved with Ohio State Athletics, Golden is with The Players’ Tribune and Williams is paired with LAPD. Malleck is assigned to StubHub.