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He ended up playing second fiddle, statistically, to fellow Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who had 1,426 receiving yards to Brown's 1,297.

When asked if Brown quit on his team, Tomlin answered: "You can call it what you want to call it".

Tomlin said the Steelers are assessing and reviewing what happened in 2018, including Le'Veon Bell opting to sit for the entire season and Brown causing drama in the locker room. Brown was absent from the team's walkthrough Saturday, and a member of the organization told Kinkhabwala that Brown left Heinz Field at halftime of the season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals.

According to a report by Jordan Heck of the Sporting News, Brown stopped following the Steelers on Instagram and started following the 49ers, along with several of their players, making it evident that there is a rift between him and his current team.

The San Francisco 49ers may have finished 4-12 in 2018, while the Pittsburgh Steelers went 9-6-1 and surprisingly missed the playoffs. "If there was a blowout, I certainly didn't see it", said Roethlisberger, who talked to Brown Thurs AM and "everything was great", but understands frustration from Brown being gone late in week.

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Tomlin addressed the issues surrounding Brown during a press conference on Wednesday afternoon. I am divinely blessed with free will. Oh, and Roethlisberger says Brown is ignoring him and teammates ever since the incidents.

Tomlin declined to get into what punishment Brown may face in the future, saying the club is still gathering information. The source added that it didn't appear Brown threw a football directly at the quarterback.

"We're talking about our darkest hour", Tomlin said.

"We take his lack of presence.as something very significant and will be handled appropriately so", he said. "That's just our business".