First Call: Details of Antonio Brown's bankruptcy; George Pickens discusses replacing Diontae Johnson (2024)

Thursday’s “First Call features the details of Antonio Brown’s bankruptcy. George Pickens addresses attempts to replace Dionate Johnson on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster. Lamar Jackson is happy with his weight loss in Baltimore, and a familiar face is back to lead the Chatham men’s hockey program.

Mr. Big Debt

Earlier this week, former Steeler Antonio Brown announced his own bankruptcy on his “CTESPN social media feed.


NFL legend Antonio Brown has filed bankruptcy today

He will be a first ballot hall of famer in 2027. He will be releasing new music this summer.

He is also the founder of the most trusted source in all of sports.

The generational run continues ????

— CTESPNNetwork (@CtespnN) May 20, 2024

Of course, since we are talking about Brown, who knew if it was really true or some sort of goof. But in this case it is legit.

Via the Albany Times Union, Brown did actually file for bankruptcy in Florida, owing nearly $3 million to eight creditors. The outlet says A.B. cannot pay at least three six-figure civil judgments.

One of those is the $1.2 million awarded to truck driver Anton Tumanov, whom Brown allegedly assaulted. The 35-year-old failed to appear in court for the case in 2022. Brown also owes Avanti Solutions $28,589 for allegedly not paying them for work they did for his concert appearance at “Rolling Loud in March 2023.

Plus, “Mr.Big Chest owes hundreds of thousands of dollars in credit card debt … and even $296 to a plumber.

Brown made nearly $81 million during his NFL career. He claims in the filing to have $50,000 or less in assets. Filing for Chapter 11 means Brown can reorganize his finances while having them protected from creditors.

Who is the new Diontae?

The Steelers still seem to be figuring out who the new starter opposite George Pickens will be on their wide receiver depth chart.

When I asked Pickens who he thought the replacement will be for the departed Diontae Johnson, he said that answer is still very much up in the air.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say there is a replacement because there is a whole new offense,” Pickens said. “Everybody is scattered around right now. So we don’t really know. Everybody is playing every position. You could say a million guys are replacing Diontae. Guys are just getting the plays down right now.”

One football cliche is, “When you have two quarterbacks, you actually have none.I’m not sure if “You have a million wide receivers, you don’t really have two fits the same way.

But I suppose the Steelers can make up for Johnson’s production with collective contributions from Calvin Austin III, Dez Fitzpatrick, rookie Roman Wilson and veteran additions such as Van Jefferson, Scotty Miller, Marquez Callaway, Quez Watkins and Denzel Mims. But I still think they are in desperate need of a true No. 2 starter, so those guys can fight for third or fourth-receiver roles on the team.

Mike Tomlin has already stated on the record that he wouldn’t be opposed to adding more talent to that room.

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Lighter Lamar

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson says he has cut some weight.

According to, Jackson is down to 205 pounds. He was at 215 last year and was at 230 in 2022.

During a media session Wednesday, Jackson said he is trying to increase his agility.

“I’ll say it was important enough to be able to move around a little bit extra, that’s all, Jackson said on the team’s website. Just so I can be more agile and be able to move more.”

That’s an interesting decision. It never looked to me that Jackson had become less mobile due to weight in recent years. In fact, I thought bulking up was a wise call given how many hits he takes since he runs so much.

“We sacrifice our body each and every game (and) practices, he said. “I believe it really doesn’t matter about the weight.”

Jackson played in 16 games last year before being rested in Week 17 against the Steelers. In the previous two seasons, he played in just 12 games apiece.

So far, Jackson has 875 carries for 5,258 yards in his career.

Cougar comeback

Michael Gershon is back as Chatham’s men’s hockey coach.

Gershon is the program’s all-time wins leader (28) and led the Cougars to their first winning season (2022-23) and first postseason appearance (2021-22).

The former Robert Morris Hockey assistant took an associate head coach position with the Sioux City Musketeers of the U.S. Hockey League (USHL) in August but has now returned to Pittsburgh.

Billy Connelly served as interim head coach after Gershon’s departure at Chatham last year. He will become the associate head coach with the program with Gershon’s return to the Cougars. Connelly has been a part of the coaching staff at Chatham since the inception of the program in 2017-18.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at or via X. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

First Call: Details of Antonio Brown's bankruptcy; George Pickens discusses replacing Diontae Johnson (2024)
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