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NFL execs fear Antonio Brown trade set dangerous precedent

Roger Goodell, NFL

Antonio Brown got his wish this NFL offseason by forcing a trade from the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Oakland Raiders, but many around the league think it’s a dangerous precedent that could end up hurting other teams in the long run.

Multiple high-ranking sources at the NFL owners meetings told ESPN that Brown forcing his way out of a contract with three years left might set a precedent that players can do what they want. One source went as far as to say that Brown essentially treating himself like a free agent, then getting a new deal with Oakland via trade, is “dangerous” for teams expecting players to honor contracts.

“It’s a problem. Other star players see this and might want to do the same,” one source said. “I know the Steelers had a difficult situation and needed to get rid of him. But they had other options.”

One option that as presented was the Steelers keeping Brown on the roster and fining him for every missed practice and game. Brown did threaten that he would retire, but many around the league didn’t think he would actually retire because he would end up owing the Steelers money.

Instead, the Steelers now have $21.12 million in dead money on the books because they traded him away to the Raiders.

The thing the NFL doesn’t want to happen is other players to see how Brown was able to force himself out and if other players follow his lead it could cause for some issues around the league.