On Saturday it was reported that Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is holding out of training camp as he seeks a new contract and it will be interesting to see how far that ultimately gets him. Until he returns to the team’s training camp, Hopkins will be subject to fines of $40,000 for each day he misses. If you believe one national reporter, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown has noted Hopkins’ actions.
“Brown has his eyes on DeAndre Hopkins’ holdout,” Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network posted Sunday morning on Twitter. “Talks are moving slow for AB, they need to heat up.”
What does this even mean? Some sensationalism by Rapoport perhaps?
Nobody is going to deny that Brown wants a new contract even though he currently has two years remaining on his old one. With that said, the Steelers wide receiver has given no indication that he will walk out of training camp in hopes of forcing the hand of the front office. If he does, the Steelers will likely issue the traditional company line that no contract negotiations will take place until the wide receiver returns to training camp. Brown and his agent Drew Rosenhaus should already be well-aware of this policy as it certainly isn’t a new one in Pittsburgh.
Recently, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert strongly hinted in a radio interview that Brown is unlikely to get a new deal this offseason being as he still has two years left on his old one. Colbert’s presumed stance is also not new at all as he has constantly remind everyone over the course of the last year that only quarterbacks with two years remaining on their contracts receive new deals from the team. While the team did pay Brown forward some of his 2016 salary last August, there’s been no indication they will repeat that process this year between now and the start of the regular season. Personally, I hope they do as Brown certainly deserves it.
“They [contract talks] need to heat up,” tweeted Rapoport. Um, no they don’t, Ian.
Brown’s best chance at getting a new deal between now and the start of the regular season includes him doing what he has always done this time of year and that is being present and accounted for at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe and dominating on the practice fields.
UPDATE: I wonder if Brown has his eyes on this: