Tight end Jesse James is on a new team with the Detroit Lions, but he spent time during a Thursday introductory news conference addressing questions on what happened with his former team.
James, who signed a four-year deal in Detroit after four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, saw how quickly the relationship between the Steelers and wide receiver Antonio Brown deteriorated to the point of no return.
And when a reporter asked if anything surprised him about the Steelers trading his former teammate to the Oakland Raiders, James took the question head on with a sincere response.
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"Nothing really," James said, via the Lions’ official website. "It had to happen. It was time for him to move on from Pittsburgh and time for Pittsburgh to move on from him.
"I think things blew out of control pretty fast there. I didn’t expect it to go the way it did as fast as it did, but I’m happy the Steelers and him are at peace and willing to move on. And, really happy that’s over with."
Brown isn’t the only one to have a fresh start with a new team, of course.
James endured the circus in Pittsburgh involving not just Brown, but running back Le’Veon Bell’s decision to not sign a franchise tender and sit out the 2018 season.
The tight end once compared the locker room environment to a reality TV show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and he is relieved he won’t have to deal with the drama anymore.
"I’m glad to get away from it," James told reporters. "Obviously, things like that I like to face head-on. If I would’ve had the opportunity to head back to Pittsburgh I would’ve been into it and ready to get through this.
"You know, they’re in a different situation. They’ve lost a couple of players that have been keys for a long time for them. It’s not something I was running away from. Those problems, I would like to face them head-on."
Meanwhile, the Lions secured a player to help out on offense, and James is happy to be the guy they selected as he continues to develop as a player and pass-catcher.
"I’ve had some success in Pittsburgh," James told reporters. "I feel like things could have been better. Offensively, I wasn’t used the way I feel I could be used here. I feel like my ceiling here is going to be much higher than it was in the past."
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