Antonio Brown has had himself quite a season in 2018, and it has nothing to do with football. This weeks installment of “As Antonio Brown’s World Turns”, contains two separate lawsuits filed against him for an incident in a Florida condo. According to TMZ, Brown threw multiple items off a 14th floor balcony in a fit of rage. One of the lawsuits claims a vase thrown by Brown nearly hit a 22 month old child. The details are sketchy at this point, but apparently this stems from $80,000 in cash and a handgun that went missing from Antonio Brown’s room. What anyone is doing with that amount of money is a concern unto itself, never mind all the other nonsense that followed. These are civil suits and are likely to be settled before they ever reach a courtroom. Whether the league steps in with a suspension remains to be seen as the league has announced they are monitoring the situation.
This latest incident by itself would be forgotten quite quickly. Athletes do dumb things all the time, this is nothing new. In Antonio Brown’s case however, it’s just the latest in an increasingly troubled 2018. On two separate occasions the All-Pro receiver threatened journalists via twitter. First he lashed out at a local Pittsburgh writer for claiming he limped off the practice field, followed by threatening to punch an ESPN reporter for a less than flattering story. Next, there’s the several strange answers to press conference questions including the whole “exceptionalism” diatribe. Finally, how can we forget the meltdown on the sideline and the subsequent “trade me and find out” comment. What followed was a skipped practice, and a long week of AB drama.
Steelers management has to be at least concerned at this point. There are several explanations to this behavior, and some are more serious than others. Whatever the reason, Antonio Brown is struggling with his fame and popularity and it’s affecting him off the field. How long will it be before all this starts to take it’s toll on the field? When the 2018 season concludes, the Pittsburgh Steelers will have to make a decision with their star receiver. Do they stick with Antonio Brown and risk more serious off the field situations, or do they attempt to get ahead of this and seek a trade? In cases like this I continually go back to a Bill Belichick quote, ” I’d rather be a year early moving a player than a year late.” In AB’s case, the “too late” scenario may be coming around sooner than any of us want to admit.