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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The wheels are turning

Antonio Brown is likely a very happy man today.


After seeing Demaryius Thomas and Dez Bryant both get 5-year, $70-million contracts on Wednesday, Brown and his agent have to have visions of dollar signs dancing in their heads.

Brown has three years remaining on the  five-year, $42-million deal he signed in 2012. And while there was some talk, likely initiated in private by his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, that Brown would skip offseason workouts this year in an effort to get a new deal worked out, that didn't happen.

Brown signed his contract extension when he was still an emerging star and the Steelers took a gamble on him that he would continue on that upward trajectory. That has, in fact, happened and Brown has emerged as one of the best receivers in the NFL.

Last season, his best, earned him All-Pro and AFC Offensive Player of the Year honors. He shared the AFC Offensive Player of the Year award with teammate Le'Veon Bell.

So what will Brown be worth in another season or two?

Age will have to be considered. Brown just turned 27 last week. Thomas and Bryant are 27 and 26, respectively.

And, despite Brown's emergence as one of the league's top receivers, the only statistic in which he tops Bryant and Thomas is in receptions.

Here's a look at their career numbers:
Bryant 381 receptions, 5,424 yards and 56 touchdowns
Thomas 351 receptions, 5,317 yards and 41 touchdowns
Brown 390 receptions, 5,259 yards and 28 touchdowns

All three came into the league in 2010, though Bryant and Thomas were first-round draft picks, while Brown was selected in the sixth round.

That doesn't matter now, but it did slow Brown's progress getting onto the field as a rookie.

Brown does, however, also return punts, which gives him added value - though at some point the Steelers have to find somebody less valuable to handle those duties.

It will make for interesting negotiations. And let's not forget that other star receivers such as A.J. Green and Julio Jones also will be getting new deals before Brown's contract expires.

Will the Steelers be willing to hand out, say, $75 to $80 million over five seasons on a third contract for Brown?


But there's also a chance they might balk at that kind of commitment to a player who will be heading into his 30s.

And if the Steelers don't, somebody else will.


datruth4life said...

Dale, I think Brown will get a third contract. This year, I think it's Heyward and Beachum. Next year, I think it's DeCastro and L. Bell. If Shamarko has a great year, then I could see the front office also trying to keep him. Hopefully the cap going up will continue to help. Gotta go for it while you have Ben for the next 4 to 5 years.

Jim said...

I believe Brown is under contract for the next three seasons, no? Wasn't that the storyline when his agent was manufacturing the story earlier in the year: that in no way would the Steelers renegotiate a contract with 3 years left on it? He'll be 30 going into the season after he reaches free agency (2018), and not exactly in the same position as Thomas and Bryant find themselves today. Hope he sticks around like Hines, though.

Anonymous said...

The wild card is Bryant. If he turns into a big time receiver then you have to choose between paying the young emerging talent or the older player. I don't think Bryant will ever be the complete player Brown is but he has the size to be a touchdown machine, and points are what win games, not getting 5 yards and 50 catches per game.

We'll see what happens. You can bet that Brown will be much more aggressive about getting a new contract next year, with 2 years on his contract he would be tradeable.

Bytor said...

I think Brown signing a new contract with the Steelers will have a lot to do with Big Ben. If Ben's play declines over the next two years I don't think AB will be that excited to remain a Steeler. He could make as much or more money elsewhere and likely with an established QB who will give him a better chance of winning a SB than a declining Ben or whoever the Steelers eventually draft to replace Ben.

Marc said...

I expect there to be some contract problems next offseason regarding brown. unless the steelers pay up, I don't think he will show up until the season starts. if bell and brown have similar seasons again, the steelers just can't afford to keep both and still field a strong team. they will need to pick one and move on.

Anonymous said...

I don't think he gets a third contract with us. I think they'll offer him one, but they'll be wary of his age. As hard as he works, he has to slow down sooner or later. Maybe he'll have an injury history by then.

I think we offer him a decent contract, but someone else offers a monstrous contract. Sort of an Alan Faneca type of situation. By then, Pittsburgh will be wondering how they'll keep all their young defensive stars, and they'll take a 3rd round comp for Antonio.

Patrick said...

They just gave cam $59 mil. Brown will get paid by the steelers. It's not 2010 anymore.