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Steelers licensing agreement provides reason for barred jersey exchange practice

It's a business deal, not fun-hating, that's barring Antonio Brown, as well as other players, from exchanging their game-worn jerseys with other players.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

It turns out Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is not to blame for a recent edict regarding Steelers players not being allowed to exchange their jerseys with other players.

As a reader wisely pointed out, the Steelers entered into an agreement with Fanatics Authentic, an online distributor of sports memorabilia, Sept. 26. Antonio Brown recently gave his game-worn jersey to Jaguars practice-squad receiver and childhood friend Tommy Streeter, which appears would be in violation of this partnership.

This contradicts an earlier story BTSC ran based on quotes from Antonio Brown published by ESPN's Scott Brown.

The gear is on sale at Steelers home games as of Week 4.

The larger point here is this isn't the coach's rule, it's coming from the front office and the jerseys are property of the team. Players are typically asked to pay for balls they throw in the crowd or anything else they may give to fans during games, so the fact the team has entered into a licensing agreement with a vendor for the sale of game-worn jerseys shouldn't come as much of a surprise.

Game-worn jerseys with certificates of authenticity can sell from anywhere from $500 to a few thousand, according to some quick online research.

Fans will have to wait a little longer to find something to blame on Tomlin, but given how quickly the message was spread over the jersey issue, it seems only a matter of time until something replaces it.