First Appeal: Mike Tomlin dismisses the idea of ​​Antonio Brown meeting the Steelers; Marc-Andre Fleury return ‘possible’

Wednesday’s “First Call” contains contract updates on a few big-name Pittsburgh Penguins. Mike Tomlin is talking about Antonio Brown’s return to the Steelers. The wave of youth continues with the pirates. And will Steelers fans really allow themselves to believe that Rob Gronkowski is going to retire?

Lots of pens

Elliot Friedman from Hockey Night in Canada Stop It Show Pat McAfee To talk about some hockey. Of course, with McAfee’s roots in western Pennsylvania, there has been a lot of discussion about penguins.

• Friedman said that Marc-Andre Fleury will not return to Pittsburgh. Florey enters free agency.

“I think there’s a chance that Florey could go back to Pittsburgh. I think that’s possible,” Friedman said. Last year, Washington wanted Florey to be a really bad thing. And he wouldn’t trade in the capitals. Because he was, like, ‘I might want to go back to Pittsburgh.’ . And I don’t think I can play for the capitals.”

Florey’s reluctance to play for Washington is not news. But the inference that the eventual return to Pittsburgh played a role in his thought process at the time may well have been.

However, Pittsburgh’s ability to pay enough money for Florey to return and the presence of Tristan Jarry may make this reunion impossible.

• Regarding Chris Letang’s contract talks, Friedman said he and his team “are separated by approximately $1.25 million annually.”

• Regarding Evgeny Malkin’s pending free agency, Friedman said the team and owners’ agents may be able to join a new three-year contract. This would be in line with Sidney Crosby’s remaining deal. But “the money was not near.”

So much for this

Antonio Brown has expressed a desire to return to Pittsburgh and retire as a Pittsburgh Steeler.

However, even in a ceremonial capacity (as Brown suggested), that seems far-fetched. Especially because of the bridges he burned on his way out of town after the 2018 season.

And as long as you come back to play in Pittsburgh again, forget about it. At least that’s how coach Mike Tomlin put it on his “The Pivot” podcast with former Stiller Ryan Clark.

“You know that’s not going to happen. In terms of putting on a helmet and getting out of the tunnel and playing ball and things like that,” Tomlin said. We can just sit back and cut it like a real-life conversation. But we know that’s not realistic.”

However, Tomlin defended Brown’s time with the Steelers.

“What I’m going to say about AB is that we had a great nine years,” Tomlin said. “I appreciate this guy in ways I can’t explain. I wouldn’t bother trying to explain because it seems like I’m defending him in some way, and to me from that point of view the nature of our relationship and what we’ve done together requires no defense. … I don’t think what it is said is. Enough about this man’s will. About this man’s work ethic. About the audacity he played.”

Under Tomlin’s training in Pittsburgh, Brown had 837 receptions for 11,207 yards and 74 touchdowns.

Your grown gone for good?

Rob Gronkowski said by a tight end at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers he is retiring. I think Steelers fans will believe it when they see it.

Perhaps best said, they’ll believe it when they don’t see him in a Bucs uniform at Heinz Field in Week 6.

Throughout his career, the former Woodland Hills High School player has tortured the Steelers. In seven regular season games against the Steelers, Gronkowski had 41 passes for 685 yards (97.9 per game) and scored 8 touchdowns.

Gronkowski retired prior to the 2019 season, but returned in 2020 to reunite with former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in Tampa.

Gronk is now 33 and announced his retirement on Tuesday with a lengthy Instagram post.

keep it up

Bligh Madris and Oneil Cruz continue to get into rare air early in their call-up to the Pirates.

Madris attended as part of the Pirates’ 7-1 win over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday. He had three hits on his Monday night debut, too. According to research by STATS LLC and Pirates broadcaster Joe Block, Madris is the second Pirates player since 1901 to score at least four total bases in each of his first two matches of his career. Dick Stewart was too. He did it in 1958.

As far as Cruz goes, he had an RBI song in the third inning. That gives him an RBI in each of his four games in his career (dating back to last year’s call-up in two games) for a total of eight.

The RBI became an official stat in 1920. Via Elias Sports Bureau, Cruz is the fourth player in Pirates history to score at least one RBI in each of his four career games and first since Cookie Lavagetto set the franchise record with the RBI in five consecutive games to start his career in 1934 .

Tim Benz is a Tribune Review writer. You can contact Tim at or via Twitter. All tweets can be reposted. All emails are subject to posting unless otherwise stated.