Wednesday was probably a bittersweet day for Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown. While the league’s leader last season in both receptions and receiving yardage didn’t see a personal financial gain Wednesday, the new contracts given to Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas now give him a starting asking price as far as a new contract for him goes.
With the franchise tag deadline nearing the final hours, Bryant and Thomas both signed new five-year deals with their respective teams that reportedly each total out at $70 million. Both deals reportedly include $45 million in guarantees with $20 million signing bonuses.
Brown, however, might have to wait a while before he gets a new deal, as the five year, $41.7 million contract extension that he signed nearly three full years ago isn’t up until after the 2017 season. While the Steelers don’t normally re-do the contracts of players not named Ben Roethlisberger, unless they’re entering the final year of their current one, they might have to seriously reconsider that business practice next offseason with Brown and especially if he registers another season in 2015 like he had in 2014.
While Brown decided not to holdout this year, one could easily see him taking that path next offseason and quite frankly, several people probably wouldn’t take issue with it if he does.
The new contracts signed by both Bryant and Thomas average out to $14 million a season and that’s $5.608 million more per season than Brown’s new money currently averages. Currently, Calvin Johnson remains the highest paid wide receiver at $16.207 million per season and that’s nearly double that of Brown.
Earlier in the offseason, former Washington Redskins salary cap analyst J.I. Halsell suggested a two-year extension plan for Brown that would result in the Steelers wide receiver averaging $11.5 per season moving forward. While it may have looked good on paper at the time, I’m pretty sure that Brown and his representatives would laugh at that now that Bryant and Thomas have both signed their new deals.
As soon as all of numbers associated with the new deals signed by both Bryant and Thomas surface, I’ll make sure to pass them along to you. Additionally, Julio Jones and A.J. Green might both get new deals prior to the start of the 2015 season, so we’ll be on the lookout for those numbers as well.