Just when the NFL community thought it had heard the last from the now financially struggling Antonio Brown regarding his former team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, he reemerges with another controversy. This time, per Steelers Wire's Curt Popejoy, Brown has taken to social media to voice his displeasure over new Steelers wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson donning the iconic No. 84 jersey, a number Brown made famous during his tenure with the team.

Antonio Brown expressed his frustration in a social media rant, questioning the Steelers' decision to allow Patterson to wear No. 84.

“They ain’t really got the respect for me that I think, or the respect that you think you earned,” Brown said. “That could be trauma in itself to know just like, da*n.

I gave my life to the Steelers and these guys don’t even give a sht about my body of work. They will just give a random guy who scored kick returns, who never even got 1,000 yards as a receiver ever in his career [my number over] a guy that was number one in history.”

Brown's comments highlight his belief that his contributions to the Steelers' success have not been sufficiently honored, particularly when it comes to the legacy of his jersey number.

Antonio Brown’s career with the Steelers was marked by extraordinary on-field performances and numerous accolades. He was a seven-time Pro Bowler and a four-time first-team All-Pro during his time in Pittsburgh, cementing himself as one of the premier wide receivers in the NFL. Brown’s success wearing No. 84 made it one of the most recognizable numbers in the league.

Despite this, Brown seems to have overlooked the fact that other players, such as Rico Bussey in 2021 and Jamal Custis in 2019, have worn No. 84 since his departure.

This inconsistency raises questions about Brown’s selective outrage, suggesting that his latest rant may be more about seeking attention than genuine concern over the respect for his legacy.

Antonio Brown's History of Immaturity

Former NFL player Antonio Brown gestures to the fans while standing in from t of former professional boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.
© Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Antonio Brown's career, both on and off the field, has been marred by numerous incidents that have called into question his maturity and judgment. Brown's talent has been overshadowed by a pattern of erratic behavior and controversial actions.

One of the most notable instances was his fallout with the Steelers, which culminated in a trade to the Oakland Raiders in 2019. Brown’s time with the Raiders was tumultuous, involving a bizarre saga with his helmet, missing practices, and a public feud with the team’s management.

His tenure with the Raiders ended before he even played a regular-season game, leading to his release.

Brown's subsequent brief stint with the New England Patriots also ended abruptly due to off-field issues, including allegations of misconduct. Despite these setbacks, Brown managed to secure a Super Bowl ring with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2021, playing a supporting role to Tom Brady.

However, his tenure with the Buccaneers ended in dramatic fashion when he infamously left the field mid-game against the New York Jets in January 2022, removing his jersey and gear before exiting the stadium.

Amidst Brown's erratic behavior, there have been growing suspicions about the possibility of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain condition associated with repeated head traumas.

CTE has been linked to behavioral changes, mood swings, and cognitive decline, symptoms that have been observed in several former NFL players.

Observers and former teammates have speculated that his increasingly unpredictable behavior could be linked to the numerous hits he sustained during his football career.

One of the most memorable incidents was the brutal hit by Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict during a playoff game in 2016, which left Brown concussed and sidelined for subsequent games. Such incidents raise legitimate concerns about the long-term impacts of repeated head injuries on his mental health.

Antonio Brown’s latest outburst over Cordarrelle Patterson wearing No. 84 brings to light his ongoing struggle to reconcile his legacy with his post-NFL life.

While Brown's contributions to the Steelers were undeniably significant, his pattern of immaturity and controversial actions have often overshadowed his on-field accomplishments. Additionally, the suspicions of CTE and its potential impact on his behavior add another layer of complexity to his story.

For the Steelers and their fans, Brown's comments are a reminder of a complicated chapter in the franchise's history. While the team continues to move forward, the shadow of Antonio Brown’s legacy—and the number 84—remains a point of contention and reflection.