"Whether the situation can be reconciled and have him back on the team next year, we're a long way away from thinking that can happen".
Rooney indicates that the player has still refused to return phone calls from himself, Tomlin and teammates and did not appear for the compulsory end-of-season evaluation.
Antonio Brown's antics have clearly worn thin on everybody in the organization, so a clean split between the two would be best for both sides. Right now, the Steelers are about $28 million under the cap, but that only accounts for 38 players currently under contract.
The 49ers have been in the market for a true No. 1 wide receiver since John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan took over. That brought about plenty of speculation that Brown had played his final game in Pittsburgh's black and yellow. He will also sit out of the Pro Bowl.
The internal troubles with Brown may be the biggest factor that keeps the 49ers from pulling the trigger on a trade for the nine-year veteran.
The Steelers now have two months to figure it all out.
Rooney said the cap hit would not play into the team's decision. During that week Brown even made it seem as though he wished to be traded from the team, despite reports saying he never demanded a move.