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Pittsburgh Steelers Fact or Fiction: Post Art Rooney II and Antonio Brown meeting edition

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One BTSC writer takes bold statements surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers and states his stance whether they are fact or fiction.

NFL: Pro Bowl Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

With the noise coming out of the Steel City louder than ever since season’s end, everybody has an opinion about the most talked-about NFL team not to make the playoffs. But what is to be believed? BTSC takes five bold statements regarding the Pittsburgh Steelers and shares their thoughts and opinions whether or not they’re fact or fiction.

The Steelers undying support of Chris Boswell is not genuine.

Fact

It was truly nothing more than contract related. They tried out another guy in the final game of the regular season. Had they gotten into the playoffs, matters would have been complicated even more. Sure they are bringing in competition, but Boz will count for $3.2 Million against the cap and cutting him would mean dead cap money that they just can’t afford with the AB situation. They’d rather just wish, hope and pray that 2018 was an aberration.

James Conner might have even more to prove in 2019.

Fact

Just because James Conner had a Pro Bowl season replacing Le’Veon Bell in 2018, there is still plenty of speculation that he can’t carry the team on a full-time basis. No. 30 will get more chances to carry the ball (if healthy) with Antonio Brown gone. However, AB’s absence could have defenses keying more on Conner. A Pro Bowl season in 2019 would put all doubts to rest, but the Steelers still need to let him carry the ball over 20 times a contest. After the stretch-run of last season, that is a major doubt as well.

Teams will not be willing to trade a first-round pick for Antonio Brown.

Fiction

It has been of strong opinion by many that teams will not be willing to give up a first rounder for a 31-year old wideout. But when that “old man” had 15 touchdowns and nearly 1,300 yards last season and hasn’t really shown signs of slipping. What if a bidding war starts up between teams with an extra No. 1 or with teams one player away? The Raiders and Packers have more than one first rounders, The Bears could be taken over the top by a guy like “Mr. Big Chest”. If Amari Cooper can net a top pick and Joe Flacco a fourth...The Steelers could get what they want for AB.

The fans and media reaction made the Antonio Brown situation worse.

Fact

The very second that word got out that AB went AWOL before the Bengals game and desired to be traded, the fans turned in a hurry. The media inundated the airwaves with news of Brown at the top, bottom and middle of every hour. Social media was even more unforgiving. All of the negativity gave the situation absolutely no chance to be rectified whatsoever. Brown seems to not be stable enough to not “buy in” to what he reads by fans that hide behind a keyboard and don’t reflect the view of all of Steeler Nation. When 93.7 had a jersey turn-in for a player still with the team, an unwelcome atmosphere was even more confirmed. Had social media and invasive talk radio been around in the late 70s, a few notable Steelers, like Jack Lambert, could have ended up in other locales.

The Steelers should seek a replacement for AB in Round One of the NFL Draft.

Fiction

The 2019 NFL Draft will be ripe with potential stars in the first two rounds of the draft. Guys like Brown’s cousin Marquise from Oklahoma, D.K. Metcalf and A.J. Brown from Ole Miss, N’Keal Harry (ASU), Kelvin Harmon (NC State), J.J. Arcega Whiteside (Stanford) and Deebo Samuel (South Carolina) are great prospects...but the Steelers need to stay the course and find an Inside Linebacker or Cornerback first. Free Agency could alter plans, but with dwindled cap room...the draft is where the Steelers must win. They could start looking for help at WR after Round 1.