Things between Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger seemed fine.
They had a connection envied by the rest of the league as Brown had the best four-year stretch by a wide receiver in the history of the NFL. The Pittsburgh Steelers were rolling as a result and always felt like a threat in the AFC, especially when considering Roethlisberger already having a pair of Super Bowl victories to his name.
But early in 2017, the cracks began to show. After the quarterback failed to notice a wide-open Brown during a game against the Ravens, the receiver took his frustrations out on a water cooler. Instead of keeping things behind closed doors, Roethlisberger expressed his thoughts about the sideline outburst on the radio for all to hear. This would become a theme in their beef, as Pittsburgh’s signal-caller had used the tactic with other wide receivers, and would continue to voice his Brown-related opinions on 93.7 The Fan.
It would become apparent there weren’t many of his teammates that approved of this tactic, but the Steelers coaches and front office didn’t seem to mind. That only exacerbated the issues, and while Big Ben took to the radio, Brown took to Twitter to make himself known. With so much being aired out in the open, the speculation from the media grew and the players were peppered with questions about their relationship.
They did their best to play nice, but by the end of 2018, it had snowballed into something that couldn’t be hidden. Brown was benched for their final game of the season after a spat at practice. It went off the rails from there in a way that all but guarantees we haven’t heard the end of it.