Rooney said in the Post-Gazette interview that it would be "hard to envision" Brown as part of the team as it reports to training camp in late July. But, he's in no hurry. 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. He hasn't picked up when Rooney and Mike Tomlin have called him.
Brown's absence in Week 17 resulted in a benching for the season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals, and during the week Brown had a flare-up in a team setting. But I will say all other options are on the table.
"There's not much we can do right now; we have time to make a decision", Rooney told the Post-Gazette.
If the Steelers were to trade Brown, the price tag would likely be high, according to NFL Network. On the 17th, Brown will be owed a $2.5 million roster bonus which would ultimately cost the Steelers. Brown sent out a cryptic tweet on Thursday following Rooney's comment with a picture of the Brown and Rooney shaking hands and the caption, "Good Business #Boomin". They are desperate for wide receiver help though, and Brown is the style of receiver 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan covets. That brought about plenty of speculation that Brown had played his final game in Pittsburgh's black and yellow. During the week of New Year's, e multiple rumors circulated the team regarding why Brown sat out the last game of the season. Later, it came out that Brown got into a heated dispute with Ben Roethlisberger, has issues with both Roethlisberger and Tomlin, and has requested a trade. We have two months to go before we can do anything.
Rooney said the cap hit would not play into the team's decision.