The good news is that a Steelers receiver has gotten a new contract. The bad news is that his name isn’t Mike Wallace.
Per a league source, the Steelers have signed receiver Antonio Brown to a five-year, $42.5 million extension.
Brown, a sixth-round draft pick in 2010, was the team’s MVP in 2011.
Signed under the old CBA, Brown was eligible for a new contract after two seasons. Players drafted in 2011 and beyond must play three years before doing new deals.
The contract helps the Steelers avoid in 2013 another Mike Wallace-style standoff. Since both players signed three-year contracts, each player was eligible for restricted free agency.
Brown gets a signing bonus of $8.5 million plus a base salary of $540,000 in 2012. In 2013, he receives a $2.5 million roster bonus and a $2 million base salary.
In 2014, the salary increases to $6 million. It stays at $6 million in 2015 before increasing to $8.25 million in 2016. Finally, he receives $8.71 million in 2017.
It remains to be seen whether this will make the Steelers more likely or less likely to do a deal with Wallace, who is scheduled to earn $2.7 million in 2012. It’s possible that the Steelers, exasperated by the negotiations with Wallace, offered to Brown the deal that had been on the table for Wallace.