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What Kind Of New Contract Might Antonio Brown Be Seeking? Here’s A Guess

Are you one of the ones hoping the Pittsburgh Steelers get a new contract worked out with wide receiver Antonio Brown prior to the start of the 2015 season? If so, please allow me the opportunity to show what kind of deal might be needed to appease Brown and his agent Drew Rosenhaus along with the effect it could potentially have on the team’s salary cap.

For starters, Brown is currently scheduled to earn $22.96 million over the course of the three years remaining on his contract. Additionally, let’s assume that Brown and Rosenhaus are expecting a new yearly average of $14 million moving forward as that’s exactly what Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas are both now scheduled to average thanks to the new deals they signed a few weeks ago. I mean, why wouldn’t Brown expect that kind of yearly average at this point?

In order for Brown to average $14 million a year  moving forward, the Steelers would likely have to give him an additional $19.04 million in new money over the course of the first three years of the new new deal to keep the cash flow in line. In other words, Brown would have to pocket $42 million through 2017. In order to do that, the Steelers would likely have to give Brown a two-year extension and a $12 million signing bonus in addition to another $7.04 million more in either base salaries or roster bonuses in those same three years.

Now, I have laid out the structure of a new contract proposal for you below that meets all of the criteria I mentioned above. I have included some roster bonuses in the first four years of the new deal in lieu of base salary money, but overall that’s not a big deal when it comes to what column those numbers are in. Remember, the perceived want by Brown and his agent will be a new yearly average of $14 million over the course of the next three years.

Brown currently has cap charges in 2015-2017 of $9,787,500, $12,037,500 and $10,797,500, respectively. As you can see, the extension proposal that I have laid out below has increases over his currently scheduled charges of $440,000, $4,400,000 and $9,400,000 in each of those three years, respectively. Increasing his cap charge by $440,000 in 2015 isn’t a big deal. However, that $4.4 million increase in cap charge in 2016 and the $9.4 million increase in 2017 might be tough to swallow. Now, those numbers can of course be lowered come time via restructures, but I know how much most you don’t like the use of that mechanism.

We’ll see if the Steelers wind up extending Brown before the start of the regular season and while I doubt it happens based on the history of the organization, stranger things have happened.

YEAR BASE SALARY OLD SIGNING BONUS NEW SIGNING BONUS ROSTER BONUS CAP CHARGE CASH FLOW
2015 $3,040,000 $3,787,500 $2,400,000 $1,000,000 $10,227,500 $16,040,000
2016 $9,250,000 $3,787,500 $2,400,000 $1,000,000 $16,437,500 $26,290,000
2017 $12,710,000 $2,087,500 $2,400,000 $3,000,000 $20,197,500 $42,000,000
2018 $14,000,000 $0 $2,400,000 $1,000,000 $17,400,000 $56,000,000
2019 $14,000,000 $0 $2,400,000 $0 $16,400,000 $70,000,000
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