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Sanders: WR Antonio Brown disrespected Steelers

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  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
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Just moments after hearing NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport say the Denver Broncos might be in line to trade for Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders was asked for his thoughts on the whole A.B. situation.

Sanders pulled no punches as he delivered an unflinching sound byte on NFL Game Day Morning in regards to his former teammate Brown before saying, with a grin, he would welcome being his teammate once more.

"It all sounds familiar," Sanders said of Brown's behavior. "But one thing I will say, when Art Rooney came out and said that, it's pretty much he's gone, because being around the Pittsburgh Steelers organization, Art Rooney doesn't say too much, but when he says something, he means it. This situation has really, really got out of hand. It's crazy, because I don't like to see, but I feel like Antonio brought it on himself. You cannot turn your back on your brothers, not on the Pittsburgh Steelers organization that gave you an opportunity to make you who you are in terms of Antonio Brown the football player. And so for you to leave on a Wednesday and then have your agent call on a Sunday is the ultimate disrespect to the Pittsburgh Steelers organization."

Sanders, who played four seasons with Pittsburgh before joining the Broncos, also offered up some compelling thoughts on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's perceived disrespect and lack of leadership.

Sanders' thoughts that Brown's departure from Pittsburgh is impending are shared by many as Rapoport had just reported that the Broncos were among a handful of teams that could be possible trade options. Despite his harsh words, Sanders was plenty happy to oblige a possible future transaction.

"I don't like this situation," Sanders said, "but I hear the Broncos, so hey, hey what's up A.B. Come on, man."

While Brown has remained silent since not playing in Pittsburgh's season finale, much has been speculated about friction with Roethlisberger, who's long been outspoken outside of the locker room. One particular incident during the season came when Roethlisberger said he wanted to throw to JuJu Smith-Schuster on every down with the game on the line. On this, Sanders was breathing fire once again to conclude the segment.

"To me, all of that is disrespectful. I would take all of that as disrespect. I remember talking to Mike Wallace, and me and Mike Wallace used to talk about this situation. I said if Ben called me out on a radio show, the next day I would literally walk up to him in the locker room and say, 'Hey man, don't do that, keep my name out of your mouth,'" Sanders said. "You're the leader of this team; be a leader. That's the reason why my comments, when I first became a Denver Bronco and I said Peyton Manning was a far better leader than Ben Roethlisberger, that's the reason why all that now is coming to fruition. I don't lie, I don't hate anybody, I just speak the truth and that's the truth."

With one year remaining on his Broncos contract, Sanders is set to return to a Broncos team that will have a new coach in Vic Fangio and perhaps a new standout wideout. If his torn Achilles doesn't heal up, it became pretty clear on Saturday he definitely has a second career on the small screen.

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