Steelers owner all but confirms team will part ways with Antonio Brown

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USA Today Images

Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney said on Thursday that his team wouldn't be releasing disgruntled All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown, but that it would be "hard to envision" the 30-year-old at the team's training camp in July.

"Whether the situation can be reconciled and have him back on the team next year, we're a long way away from thinking that can happen.

We don't have to make those decisions right now". He hasn't picked up when Rooney and Mike Tomlin have called him.

Within a few hours after the newspaper posted Rooney's comments, Brown tweeted a photo of himself and Rooney shaking hands, with the caption, "Good Business #Boomin".

Antonio Brown's antics have clearly worn thin on everybody in the organization, so a clean split between the two would be best for both sides.

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San Francisco isn't the only team with draft assets to facilitate a deal and the cap space to fit Brown's $22 million cap hit next season, then his $18 million and $19 million hits the next two years.

The 49ers have been in the market for a true No. 1 wide receiver since John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan took over. The Raiders also are stocked with draft-pick currency (three first-rounders) and need WR help.

But there might be just as many teams that are leery about taking on a high salary, even for a player as talented as Brown is, given that he essentially quit on his teammates prior to a crucial game.

Pittsburgh is reportedly expected to consider trade offers for Brown ahead of the free-agency period.

"We'll see how things play out", Rooney said.

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