© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
The offseason of Antonio Brown has been full of twists and turns.
At this point, it has become more exhausting than exciting for fans who have envisioned the star receiver joining the 49ers.
On Tuesday morning, TMZ reported that Brown has been found guilty in a November incident in which the star receiver was pulled over for going 100 MPH on a road with a speed limit of 45. Brown was ordered to appear in court, but he did not show up to his court appearance Tuesday. The judge has ordered he pay about $400 in fines and fees.
This comes exactly one week after Brown was reportedly involved in a domestic dispute with a woman, though he was not arrested. That came after an April report citing Brown threw furniture off the balcony of his 14th-story apartment back. A man said Brown’s furniture — including “two very large vases, a heavy ottoman and other pieces of furniture” — nearly hit a 22-month-old toddler. Brown, who has claimed innocence, has reportedly been sued for the incident.
Brown’s slew of off-field run-ins have overshadowed the football stuff. And that, too, is multi-layered.
In the final weeks of the 2018 season, Brown grew unhappy with the Steelers and particularly quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The seven-time Pro Bowl receiver sat out the final game of the season.
In the aftermath, Steelers owner Art Rooney II said it would be “hard to envision” Brown playing for the Steelers next year, despite his contractual obligations. Brown has since befriended several 49ers players, cyber-flirting with tight end George Kittle and recently hanging out with free safety Adrian Colbert. Brown has also posted a series of Instagram photos depicting conversations he has had with Jerry Rice, who has said Brown wants to join the 49ers. Terrell Owens said Brown has continually asked him about the Bay Area.
All of this has led to hope among the 49ers fanbase that John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan would pursue Brown. But there have been no reports that the team have done so, and the Steelers’ asking price for the future Hall-of-Famer is currently unknown. Trades can’t go through until the new league year begins March 13, anyway.
With each passing incident, the prospect of Brown playing for the 49ers is becoming more and more unlikely. At this point, it’s fair to wonder if the risk outweighs the reward.