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But the Oakland Raiders coach insists it is a moot point after trading a third- and a fifth-round draft pick for the four-time All-Pro receiver on March 13.
“I have no problem with him,” Gruden said Tuesday during the coaches breakfast at the NFL owners meetings. “You’ve got to be kidding me. To get Antonio Brown? I’d walk to Pittsburgh to get him. I don’t have any problem with one aspect of Antonio Brown. I don’t know who does or why they would.”
Up until the last two months or so of Brown’s nine-year tenure in Pittsburgh, he had been seen as a model teammate. But then locker room infighting and an apparent feud with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger preceded Brown not showing up for work in the season’s final week.
Brown demanded a trade and seemed to be headed to the Buffalo Bills before that deal fell apart and the Raiders stepped in, making Brown the highest-paid receiver in league history as Brown got $30.125