Pittsburgh Steelers third year wide receiver Antonio Brown wants to handle things different this time next year when he will be a restricted free agent. The always smiling and positive receiver joined NBC SportsTalk on Wednesday to talk about his accomplishments last season and talk about how he plans to handle his own restricted free agency after the 2012 season.
Brown was asked if he has had talks thus far with the Steelers, being as he is heading into the final year of his contract. “I want to finish out my contract this year and hopefully next year it takes care of itself, but I definitely plan on being here and going about things, maybe in a different aspect, because I respect the organization and the program that I’m in,” Brown said.
When pushed for what he meant by different aspect, Brown said, “Whatever the organization’s got planned, I just feel like, I want to be a professional and go about my business the right way. I don’t want to take time off and not be at OTAs. I want to be around, so hopefully we can get things wrapped up so I can take care of the business side of things so I can be here faithfully.”
While Brown in no way was intentionally taking a shot at Mike Wallace, and the way that he has handled his own restricted free agency thus far, many in the fan base will point to Brown being a model team player and Wallace as one that just cares about the money. One thing to keep in mind is that Brown only has one exceptional season under his belt and is not currently a restricted free agent, while Wallace has two 1,000 yard receiving seasons under his and is right in the middle of his free agency.
Keep in mind that if Brown has another 1,000 yard season in 2012, it won\’t matter what he said in June of 2012. It will be easy though to point to what Brown said on Wednesday at this time next year, should he indeed not be in OTAs because he hasn\’t signed his tender, but I have a feeling though that he will be true to his words and at least be around.
Before we even get to OTAs next year we will likely need to go through the same “sky is falling” concerns that we went through this year with Wallace. You remember that don\’t you? When nearly most of the fan base said that another team would give Wallace a tender the Steelers couldn\’t match in exchange for their first round draft pick? How the Steelers made a stupid move by not getting Wallace signed long-term prior to the start of free agency?
When smoke clears this year with Wallace, please remember how it all worked out when we talk about Brown next year, even if he somehow does end up handling it the same way as Wallace has this off-season.