With former Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown joining the New England Patriots on Saturday afternoon, the league was completely caught by surprise. Yes, there were many fans and media members alike that had joked about a potential partnership between the star receiver and the Super Bowl-winning franchise, but no one truly expected this move to happen.
As the man that spent nine seasons throwing passes to Brown, it would be expected that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger would have some thoughts about the Patriots roster decision. However, this certainly was not the case. He was asked about his former teammate following a disheartening loss to the Patriots – Brown did not play – and chose to respond with a one-word answer. "Whatever."
“Whatever” pic.twitter.com/TfDaVbmr2m— SI Extra Mustard (@SI_ExtraMustard) September 9, 2019
Considering the recent friction between Big Ben and his former favorite target, this response was expected. He and Brown were close during their days with the Steelers, but the situation drastically changed leading into and following the trade with Oakland. Roethlisberger even said that he regretted calling out Brown after a loss to the Denver Broncos because he felt that it ruined a friendship.
Granted, Brown responded to this interview by saying that he was never friends with the Steelers quarterback. In his mind, Big Ben was only a means to "get his ends." With comments like that from Brown, it's not surprising that Roethlisberger really does not want to discuss his former teammate.
Interestingly enough, Big Ben was not the only man that responded to the Antonio Brown news in such a manner. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was also asked about his new receiver following the game, but he cut the reporters short in the middle of their questions. "No," was his only answer when asked about the arrival of Brown.
The NFL has officially become a place where anything can and will happen. Brown joining two other 1,600-yard receivers in New England (Demaryius Thomas, Josh Gordon) is only the latest example. He is expected to produce at a wildly impressive level when paired with quarterback Tom Brady and the surrounding weapons in New England.
If this happens, there will be increasing calls for investigations into whether or not the Patriots and Antonio Brown violated league rules in an effort to get the receiver away from the Steelers and over to Foxborough.
No matter what happens, however, rest assured that Big Ben will not be discussing the updates. He is no longer interested in conversations about his former teammate.