It will certainly be interesting to see what transpires this offseason with Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown as it relates to his contract as the two-time first-team All-Pro is most definitely underpaid as it relates to the position that he plays.
During his post season talk with the local media on Thursday, Steelers team president Art Rooney II wouldn’t get into any specifics as it relates to Brown’s contract and possible future negotiations. However, he did reportedly say that Brown is a “great football player” and that the organization wants to make sure he’s around long-term, according to Chris Bradford of the Beaver County Times.
Last offseason, the Steelers restructured Brown’s contract in order to free up some cap space but that transaction included them paying the wide receiver $2 million of his 2016 salary as part of his signing bonus. That resulted in Brown earning $8 million in 2015 and while it was $2 million more than he was originally scheduled to earn, he was still severely underpaid.
Just prior to Brown receiving that raise via the restructure, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert let be known in a radio interview that Brown isn’t likely to receive a contract extension until he has one year remaining on his current deal. Being as that date is now almost one year away, the Steelers will more than likely have to pay a good portion of Brown’s 2017 base salary to him this offseason as part of yet another contract restructure in order to appease the wide receiver. Should that wind up being the case again this offseason, Brown’s 2016 cap charge will more than like rise some.
The Steelers could certainly live with the above scenario and it will likely appease Brown as well. From there, the two sides will be expected to work out a long-term contract extension prior to the start of the 2017 regular season.
“I don’t like to speculate what we are going to do about a player’s contract,” Rooney said Thursday, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “We had a number of players over the years to make contract adjustments with. We have to be cautious how we do it. We will address that as offseason goes on.”