Some good news to get you through this Monday. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport sent out a tweet earlier this afternoon reporting the Pittsburgh Steelers and Antonio Brown are close to a long-term deal.
#Steelers & reps for WR Antonio Brown are making significant progress toward a big-$ extension, sources say, with the goal of a deal by 3/9.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 27, 2017
As Rapoport says, the apparent goal is to reach a deal before the start of free agency, next Thursday, March 9th. Brown is entering the final year of his deal. A framework of the deal hasn’t been announced yet but it’s expected that Brown will become the highest paid receiver in the league, making at least $15 million annually. He’ll surpass A.J. Green into that top spot.
Per Brown’s snapchat last week, the Rosenhaus brothers were in town to began negotiations. Though they are notoriously difficult to deal with, the fact Brown’s value is widely understood and his cooperation over the past year, not holding out or making much of a fuss over not getting a deal, is clearly speeding up the process and reducing the tension in the room.
It should be an eventful week-and-a-half with Le’Veon Bell’s franchise tag, Brown’s contract, the Combine, and oh yeah, the start of free agency. Buckle up.