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Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown posted and deleted a screenshot of a 2015 direct-message conversation he had with former Pittsburgh Steelers teammate JuJu Smith-Schuster on Instagram.
Smith-Schuster DM’ed Brown while he has a collegiate wideout at USC and asked for tips on how to improve his game:
Bleacher Report @BleacherReport
Antonio Brown just put up a 2015 DM from JuJu asking for advice while at USC… https://t.co/fJPDs1XQtq
Brown posted the DM on Monday only to delete it Tuesday:
On Sunday, Brown and Smith-Schuster exchanged barbs on Twitter. It started when Brown criticized Smith-Schuster after a Twitter user pointed out to Brown that Smith-Schuster was named the Steelers’ MVP in 2018:
Antonio Brown @AB84
Emotion: boy fumbled the whole post season in the biggest game of year ! Everyone went blind to busy making guys famous not enough reality these days ! 🤙🏾 by the way check the list https://t.co/2SWWT8k0jx
In response, Smith-Schuster took a shot at Brown’s ego:
JuJu Smith-Schuster @TeamJuJu
Crazy how big that ego got to be to take shots at people who show you love! Smh
Brown and Smith-Schuster were teammates for two seasons in Pittsburgh before Brown was traded to the Raiders this offseason.
Brown specifically mentioned Smith-Schuster losing a fumble during Pittsburgh’s 31-28 loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 16 last season. The fumble sealed the defeat, and with the Baltimore Ravens winning the following week, it kept the Steelers out of the playoffs as well.
The Steelers beat the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 17 without Brown, who was inactive for the game after not practicing most of the week on the heels of a reported argument with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
In the wake of that incident, Brown requested a trade, and the Steelers granted it by dealing him to Oakland for a third-round and fifth-round pick in the 2019 NFL draft.
Prior to last season, Brown had been the Steelers’ unquestioned No. 1 wideout for several years. The 30-year-old veteran has registered at least 100 catches, 1,200 yards and eight touchdowns in each of the past six seasons.
He is a seven-time Pro Bowler, four-time first-team All-Pro and a potential future Hall of Famer based on his consistently elite level of production.
Even so, Brown was seemingly supplanted by Smith-Schuster as Roethlisberger’s favorite target last season. During his second NFL campaign, the 2017 second-round pick led the Steelers in receptions (111) and receiving yardage (1,426), and also finished with seven receiving touchdowns.
Brown registered 104 grabs for 1,297 yards and an NFL-leading 15 receiving touchdowns.
With Brown now in Oakland, Smith-Schuster will be the undisputed No. 1 wideout in Pittsburgh in 2019. He will also be tasked with helping the Steelers bounce back from a 9-6-1 season that saw them miss the playoffs for the first time since 2013.