Rumors began swirling about a disagreement between the receiver and the team's franchise quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, after Pittsburgh decided to make Brown inactive against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Rooney, however, said Steelers will "look at all the options" on how to deal with Brown, who did not play in the regular-season finale. "We'll look at all the options". He also said the team is not closing the door on the possibility of smoothing things over with Brown, but he is not optimistic that will happen. However, the team would save $15.1 million in cash.
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.More news: NYC to Guarantee Health Care to All, Including Undocumented Immigrants
"There's not much we can do right now; we have time to make a decision", Rooney said, via Gerry Dulac of the Post-Gazette. The Steelers would likely make a decision on his status before March 17, when he is due a $2.5 million roster bonus. He said he actions would speak louder than his words and to stay by your phone for when he releases more details. "That's one of the reasons I would have liked to talk to him about it - what it was and how it got to this point".
Shortly after Rooney's comments went viral on Twitter, Brown posted a photo of himself with the Steelers owner along with the caption "Good Business". The Pro Bowl receiver reportedly asked for but did not demand a trade after the incident, but he carries a $21.25 million cap hit for next season, so he likely would be hard to move despite his enormous talent.
In 15 games, Brown recorded 1,297 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns, setting a new team record for majors.