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The Steelers’ partnership with Antonio Brown has mercifully come to an tumultuous end

In the immortal words of Dandy Don Meredith, the Pittsburgh Steelers can turn out the lights because the AB party is over. All that is left to do is clean up the mess.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

First off, I really should offer some backstory to clear up any confusion for our younger readers. Don Meredith was an accomplished QB for the Dallas Cowboys back in the 60's who would go on to become a color analyst on Monday Night Football after his retirement from the NFL.

I used to enjoy listening to Meredith due to his knowledgeable insights and exuberant personality, and the Monday Night match ups were highly anticipated at my house. Don's nickname was Dandy Don, going all the way back to his early playing days. Dandy Don was also famous for a particular phrase he would actually sing near the end of a game once the outcome had become apparent. Don would sing "Turn out the lights, the party's over." The playful line from a Willie Nelson song would become Meredith's moniker and a familiar refrain at the end of many MNF telecast. I would happily sing along whenever the Steelers were the victors. Those are good memories.

If Dandy Don was still among us, he would have warmed up the old vocal chords in the early Sunday morning hours when it was reported that the headbutting contest that had been going on all off season between the Steelers and Antonio Brown was coming to an end and a winner was emerging. Problem was the Pittsburgh Steelers didn't come out on top in this matchup.

Antonio Brown has to be considered the winner because he got every thing he demanded, and more. This whole situation was carefully planned and executed to perfection by Antonio Brown, with super agent Drew Rosenhaus pulling the strings behind the scenes. Not only did he successfully orchestrate his departure from the Steelers franchise and the huge threat to his future targets and potential earnings known as JuJu Smith Schuster, but the man who had no guaranteed money left over the final three years of his Steelers contract suddenly is getting a whole new deal with huge guaranteed money that will make him the highest paid receiver in the league, again. You really can't make this stuff up, it is that hard to believe. AB said jump and all parties involved said "How high?"

Far be it for me to ever deny a player getting paid and doing what he feels is in his best interest. Brown did just that, manipulating the situation to perfection. My only problem is with the tactics utilized to achieve his desired results. The damage done to the organization that he once professed his love for, the disrespect shown toward multiple teammates that he once called brothers and went through the wars of the AFC North with, and finally the utter disappointment his behavior has caused a legion of Steelers fans that held him in high regard in a special place in their hearts can never be undone.

I asked the same question last off season during the Le'Veon Bell negotiations. What price do you place on your legacy? That is a question that only the individual can answer. I feel certain the level of depravity displayed throughout this process will undoubtedly effect his Steelers legacy. Maybe I am wrong, and it appears that AB couldn't care less. But what happens if he doesn't prove to be as successful with the Raiders, struggles with injuries or chemistry with his future QBs, never wins a championship, and only plays at a high level for two or three more seasons? We do know, barring suspension or complete mental breakdown, that the precious guaranteed money will be there. That is great, but then what? Unless he changes his reckless behavior and extravagant lifestyle, that money won't last him forever.

I am sure he doesn't want to end up a cautionary tale told to young players at the NFL rookie symposium. I can't imagine AB working in broadcasting unless he brushes up on the English language that he has appeared incapable of speaking lately. AB wants to be mentioned in the same breath as the GOAT Jerry Rice, the ultimate winner, but his actions and career trajectory are starting to have a familiar TO feel to them.

There is no better legacy than to be a Steelers legend, and the long term value would be impossible to calculate. AB has managed to apply a value to his own legacy, for his sake I hope it proves worth it in the long run.

The Steelers are left to do damage control. The rotund female has sung and the king has left the building. Funny thing is, contrary to popular belief, the cupboard is far from bare. Actually the Steelers still have a potential Pro Bowl player at QB, RB, and WR. That is the same situation they were blessed with before James Conner and JuJu Smith Schuster came along a couple years ago.

Suddenly Antonio Brown has become irreplaceable and the Steelers are doomed without him. If I recall correctly, teams win the Super Bowl every year without his services, and the Steelers never even reached the big game with him.

There is work to be done moving forward this off season, especially with the defense, but all hope is not lost. The Steelers will move forward with a group of men who actually want to be Steelers. A successful free agency period and a strong draft class could propel the Steelers right back into contention, something they actually failed to accomplish last season with the immortal AB. Some playmakers on defense should be at the top of the Steelers shopping list.

So to all my Steelers brethren around the world, keep your chins up. All is not lost.

Now if you will excuse me, I need to answer the door. It appears Chicken Little is trying to tell me something.