Steelers’ Antonio Brown asks for trade

The Pittsburgh Steelers still haven’t decided whether there’s a path for wayward wide receiver Antonio Brown to return in 2019.

Not that it matters to Brown. He’s already made up his mind.

A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press the perennial Pro Bowler has formally asked the Steelers for a trade, the latest move in a game of brinksmanship by the 30-year-old designed to force Pittsburgh to move him by the start of training camp this summer.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to publicly discuss personnel matters.

Brown appeared to make his decision official in a social media post released on Instagram on Tuesday. The video includes highlights from Brown’s career with the Steelers while lyrics from “Do What I Want” by rapper Lil Uzi Vert plays in the background. “SteelerNation thank you for nine big years!!!” Brown wrote. “Time to move on and move forward.”

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The post came shortly after Brown was found guilty in absence on a charge of reckless driving in a suburban Pittsburgh court on Tuesday morning. Brown was charged in November for driving his black sports car over 100 mph in a 45 mph zone. He paid a $426.77 fine. Brown did not attend Tuesday’s hearing.

Brown still has three years remaining on the $72 million contract he signed in the spring of 2017, and remains one of the most dynamic performers in the league. He is the only player in NFL history with six consecutive 100-catch seasons and he hauled in 104 receptions for 1,297 yards and a franchise-record 15 touchdowns in 2018. There is no major rush with another month before the new league year begins, though Pittsburgh could work out the parameters of a deal by March 13. Brown’s contract counts $21.12 million in 2019, a number that inches north to $23.62 if Brown receives a $2.5 million roster bonus he’s scheduled to receive on March 17.

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