Chit, you can believe whatever you want that makes you feel good but I'm telling you what actually happened. He wanted it all while downgrading Jason and refusing to bend much in negotiation - he believed Steve, like Benard and many others, would take the knee and cooperate and he could continue making Jason a lesser focus while leaning on his fanbase and Sam's in a triangle. He never wanted to lose Jason because he intended to keep leveraging that massive fanbase while telling stories that were not Jason-centric (and yes, likely shifting more to McBain and Todd - which Steve could not abide). And Steve, who has a huge ego and was insulted by both the negotiation and the story, walked away. Frank tried to get him back, Steve took another job. So he waited.
This is how Frank rolls for everyone who isn't a favorite of the moment or Tony Geary. He put Burton on notice, but unlike others Burton walked. As I said it's a miscalculation Frank has made before, several times, but often it worked. And when he's bored or needs to get someone else (in this case, Burton), Frank will cut you without a thought (Budig). He alternates between accommodating and rolling out the red carpet, and freezing people out. His only constant blind spot seems to be Roger Howarth, who was thisclose to leaving recently.
I am not defending or praising it - I think Frank should be gone, myself. I am just stating the facts. This is how he operates. Story is often irrelevant vs. his favorite of the moment, or when those fail, cold hard numbers. Steve Burton brought numbers. Frank wanted them, but he also wanted to break Burton. When he couldn't he waited it out. Now Burton is back and Frank doesn't give a [!@#$%^&*] about the past. All Frank cares about is Frank and the numbers.
No, Frank tossed Burton (as well as others) overboard to accommodate his pets, Howarth and Easton. Couldn't afford all of them. He immediately put sam back with Easton and Wright with Howarth. There was no room for Burton and Frank wanted him gone.
LOL, let's be clear, Frank was always trying to get Steve back. And I hate Steve Burton, but it's true. This shīt isn't new or Frank changing his mind. It was his goal five years ago and he never forgot it.
He gambled and lost that Steve would come to terms in 2012, because Frank had bruised Steve's ego by not centering the show around Jason as much and not catering to his needs. Then Frank and Ron made the same mistake they made with TSJ at OLTL during the Two Todds, thinking they could keep him around on a semi-regular basis and that they could keep writing story for Jason (which is why they brought back Sean Kanan as A.J., then lost interest in him when Steve signed at CBS). Frank thought they could manhandle Steve like he does most actors (see: Budig's abrupt firing, among many many others), but Steve has way too much ego for that. He had a job as long as JFP did. So Frank moved on but he knew Steve wouldn't be gone forever, and so did I.
There is no one to root for here. I knew from Day 1 that Frank (and Ron) would ultimately want to rehash Two Todds with Two Jasons and Burton/Miller, and I have always said so. I knew Steve would come sniffing around at GH when Jill lost her job. And I knew Frank would drop everything to get him back (and cut many expensive people to do it), and redo the same story which will end with Steve phoning it in, wearing black t-shirts and staring into space for the next 5-10 years. Frank sees it as a net win for the show and his job. That's all he cares about. He'll cut almost anyone or anything for the sake of the next goal. His GH may be terrible but he's like a shark, he never stops moving.