In the end, Antonio Brown got what he wanted, and that reportedly has many high-ranking NFL officials concerned.
Despite having three years remaining on his contract with the Steelers, Brown forced his way out of Pittsburgh in order to get a new deal, eventually landing with the Oakland Raiders, who gave him a three-year, $50.125 million contract.
With Brown being able to push his way out of town, some NFL executives are worried this could set a "dangerous precedent" for other star players to do the same, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.
“It’s a problem. Other star players see this and might want to do the same,” one source told Fowler. “I know the Steelers had a difficult situation and needed to get rid of him. But they had other options.”
While some NFL decision-makers are worried the Steelers' decision to give into Brown's demand will lead to others doing the same, one agent believes the situation is unique to the 30-year-old receiver.
“He was crazy enough to pull this off,” one veteran agent told Fowler “Most guys aren’t wired that way. The contracts and rules are in place.”
The Steelers also saw star running back Le'Veon Bell sit out all of the 2018 season rather than sign a franchise tag, believing he would get more guaranteed money this offseason with fewer miles on his body. He was given a four-year, $52.5 million deal by the New York Jets earlier this month.
“I’ve seen too many injuries not to value that,” Bell said, via Fowler. “I’ve seen the Steelers pretty much cut Troy Polamalu, a future Hall of Famer. [Polamalu retired with two years left on his contract.] AB did what he felt was best for him. My situation was different, but we both wanted to get our fair value. That’s what every player wants.”
[RELATED: AB throws shade at Tomlin, Steelers on Twitter]
In the end, it's unlikely Brown's stunt will lead to a wave of star players forcing their way out with multiple years remaining on their contracts. Teams trade key players all the time, and treat them more or less as disposable pieces, so you have to respect Brown for taking his fate into his own hands, even if the blue mustache was a bit much.