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Rick Zamperin: ‘I don’t even have to play football,’ says Antonio Brown

Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown runs the ball against the Cleveland Browns during the first half of an NFL football game in Cleveland on Sept. 8, 2018.
Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown runs the ball against the Cleveland Browns during the first half of an NFL football game in Cleveland on Sept. 8, 2018. AP Photo/Ron Schwane

As if the Antonio Brown situation wasn’t puzzling enough.

Over the weekend, the All-Pro receiver made his first public comments about his frustrations with the Pittsburgh Steelers since the 2018 NFL season came to an end.

In one-on-one interviews with ESPN and HBO, Brown dropped a couple of bombshell quotes that covered everything from his deteriorated relationship with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to his potential future without football.

Brown’s nine-year career with the Steelers is coming to an end; it’s just a matter of when.

Last month, the disgruntled receiver met with team owner Art Rooney II and said they “agreed that it is time to move on.”

But his comments this weekend should be a large red flag to every other team in the National Football League.

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“I don’t take any blame,” said Brown, referring to going AWOL during the last week of the regular season. “I just think I took responsibility for my situation.”

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Brown, 30, said Roethlisberger “feels like he’s the owner” and also seemed to take a shot at Rooney, saying: “I would like to know the guy I work for got my best interest. I would like to know the team got my best interest.”

The clincher, however, is a quote that should set off alarm bells for other NFL teams.

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Brown said: “I don’t even have to play football if I don’t want. I don’t even need the game. I don’t need to prove nothing to anyone. If they wanna play, they going to play by my rules. If not, I don’t need to play.”

As talented a player as Brown is, he might just get his wish.