PITTSBURGH (KDKA)– Just a day after the meeting between wide receiver Antonio Brown and Steelers President Art Rooney II, General Manager Kevin Colbert spoke about both the Brown and Le’Veon Bell situation at team headquarters on the South Side.
Colbert met with select Pittsburgh media members, but did not allow cameras into the press conference. Colbert, along with Head Coach Mike Tomlin, will be available for on-camera interviews in Indianapolis at the NFL Combine next week.
Colbert says the team will not place the transition tag on Le’Veon Bell, making him a free agent.
We will not be using any type of franchise or transition tag on Le’Veon Bell,” Colbert said. “We looked at the different aspects of things and quite honestly the production from that position, the collective running backs this year was pretty good. Le’Veon is still a great player, but we can’t afford to use any type of tag with the other needs that we have.”
“Two reasons Steelers GM Kevin Colbert says they won’t tag Le’Veon Bell: The $14.5 M price tag and the work of James Conner and Jaylen Samuels at RB last season.”
Colbert also said that the team will control trade discussions in regard to Antonio Brown.
“Colbert says the #Steelers will control the trade discussions with Antonio Brown. There will be “No discounting the trade value” from their perspective.”
“That will probably pick up as this announcement becomes more official on our end” Colbert said. “We’re not going to move a significant player for less than significant compensation”
Colbert said the meeting with Brown ended on good terms.
“We love you as a player, we thank you for what you did for us the last 9 years. We’re disappointed we didn’t get you to a Super Bowl and still think you’re a Hall of Fame candidate and disappointed that didn’t happen with us. But we are open to shop around the league to see what’s available.”
“Colbert said Brown along with Browns father met with Art Rooney II ALONE for 30 minutes yesterday. but everyone on both sides is disappointed it’s come to this point.”
“I asked Colbert about Browns demands for #NewDemands (Guaranteed Money), He said that’s on the team that would acquire him. They will attempt to trade Brown and his existing contract.”
Colbert said that the trade talks have not picked up yet, and that the team team will only trade Brown if the return is worth it.
“That will probably pick up as this announcement becomes more official on our end. We’re not going to move a significant player for less than significant compensation. By no means will we make a trade that’s not beneficial to the organization. We’re not going to give a discount on the trade market, and we’re not going to release him.”
“Colbert says “If We can’t make a trade satisfactory to us (For Brown) we will cross that bridge when we come to it”