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Antonio Brown ‘flirts’ with 49ers tight end in midst of negative report

January 1, 2019

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown made the internet version of goo-goo eyes with San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle early Tuesday, a day after reports that Brown lashed out at his team in the days leading up to Week 17.

Kittle, a breakout star this year for the otherwise lowly 49ers, tweeted the following:

Sup? @AB84 George Kittle (@gkittle46) January 1, 2019

To which Brown sent back a one-emoji reply:

🤩 https://t.co/pA9fiuEX0f Antonio Brown (@AB84) January 1, 2019

Fans are interpreting the small exchange as Kittle expressing interest in Brown joining the 49ers.

Of course, the star wideout is under contract with Pittsburgh. But the day after the Steelers’ season ended without a playoff berth, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette learned that Brown was benched for Week 17′s must-win game against the Bengals because he did not come to practices for much of the week.

Why didn’t he come to practice? Because at one midweek practice, he threw a tantrum and threw a football angrily in a teammate’s direction. One later report indicated the teammate was quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, but Roethlisberger denied seeing Brown’s “blowup.”

Brown is one of the best receivers in the league, but his contract would make it difficult to be traded. Cutting him would cost the Steelers more than $21 million. And this is all playing out months after running back Le’Veon Bell decided he would sit out the 2018 season rather than play for the Steelers under the franchise tag.

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