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Just like George Costanza, Antonio Brown seems to want to get fired

Antonio Brown says he wants traded, but his actions are lending more to him wanting fired to pursue a better contract.

Kansas City Chiefs v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The ESPN interview with Antonio Brown over the weekend has reinforced in me my belief that the WR1 for the Pittsburgh Steelers is calculated in what he desires the end-game of all the unrest that he’s unearthed on the Steelers, and the NFL landscape, over the past 60+ days.

Many fans and media members have wondered what Antonio wants. Not only that, that very group of head scratchers wonder what has rubbed AB the wrong way. It’s old, green and you always enjoy having it around. Though I could be talking about Kermit the Frog, I am not. I’m talking about money. But isn’t AB in the middle of the second of his fat contracts from the Steelers with three seasons left to play? At the time he last signed two years ago, wasn't he known as one of the highest paid players the league? Yes and Yes. I remember when the Steelers inked him to that extension, the question was raised of what would occur should other players surpass his deal. We are getting that answer now.

The first place that I would go to support that argument is in the direction of Drew Rosenhaus. The Super Agent played this game in 2005 trying to get a bigger chunk of the pie out of the brass in Philadelphia for Terrell Owens. In the end it got T.O. a place out on the open market after the world witnessed a shirtless Owens doing push-ups in a residential driveway, while the agent continuously bellowed, “Next Question”. But despite the massive payday, it was kind of the beginning of the end for the receiver.

While this is all remains a vastly different scenario altogether on the surface, it all stinks of an employee realizing the financial benefits of getting fired. This particular scenario is eerily reminiscent of the plot of the May 1, 1997 Seinfeld episode “The Millennium”. George Costanza needed to get fired from the Yankees to accept a very lucrative deal from the Mets as their head scout. He stains Babe Ruth’s jersey while eating, streaking in a flesh-colored body suit during a game and drags the World Series Trophy around the parking lot of Yankee Stadium chained to the bumper of a Buick Regal. AB hasn’t gone to those extremes (yet), but after seemingly with an agreement from the Steelers to find a trade deal...he seems to be sabotaging it for himself and the organization.

With his recent comments to Jeff Darlington on ESPN, it seems obvious that this whole situation actually has nothing to do with Art Rooney II, Mike Tomlin or Ben Roethlisberger. The comment that really resonated most with me was, “If they want me to play, “If they want me to play, they’re gonna play by my rules. If not, I don’t need to play.” What my brain translated was, “Any team that gets me is going to have to bow to me first. Also, rip up my deal...I want more”.

How does this relate to him wanting to get cut? If a team trades for him, they have to give up money and players or draft picks. That means that there is no guarantee that AB gets a new deal. But in his mind, Mr. Big Chest could get a blockbuster contract if he was a free agent on the open market. The only way to do that is to scare trading partners away and force the Steelers to fire him. Kind of like Costanza.

I could be reading way too much into this, but why would a player make threats to potential suitors if he really wants a new home and just wants out of Pittsburgh? If he wanted a new location so badly, he would be selling himself as a good employee. Instead he is already promising unrest. Some could use the “dumb athlete” argument, but I won’t. No. 84 is way too savvy and I never thought of him as anything but that.

Did Brown come up with this all on his own? He could have, but I doubt it. This has all of the markings of Drew Rosenhaus. If AB did his homework, he would have seen that this isn’t a foolproof plan and the road is rocky. Although Terrell Owens eventually got a huge 3-year/$25M deal with Dallas, but he was in the second year of a 7-year/$49M in Phily. He ended up being suspended for conduct detrimental to the team in a November of his second season there. It could be argued that he lost money because of the contract games. This all could backfire on Brown as well.

With all that being said, the interview was contradictory and muddied the waters for most trying to make heads-or-tails out of this. But I still contend that the Steeler star doesn’t want a new uniform to wear, but a new contract. I think this because all of the irritations that AB has with the Steelers could have been rectified. But at this point, AB’s contention that the situation can’t be mended due to “all of the smoke” is correct. But he poured the gasoline, lit the match and burned down the house in search of a new one and a new deal.

As for George Costanza, he eventually got traded to Tyler Chicken. Definitely not an ideal location. Kind of like going to the Cardinals. But once again, the Steelers won’t fall for this tactic and cut him. But to wrap their minds around this whole situation, the Steelers Front Office might want to watch that season of Seinfeld or hire Larry David as a consultant. Let’s just hope that Brown doesn’t continue to make his potential exit stranger than fiction.