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Loss of Martavis Bryant could be Antonio Brown’s gain

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Last year, Steelers receiver Antonio Brown tried to get a new contract from the team, with three years left on his current deal. It didn’t work. This year, the potential absence of receiver Martavis Bryant for a full season gives Brown an even stronger case for getting a new contract.

Brown already could be missing some of the offseason program, given his looming participation in ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. He may decide to skip the whole thing unless and until the team rectifies the fact that his contract pays out $6.25 million this year and $8.71 million in 2017.

Brown has become one of the best receivers — if not the best receiver — in the league. Yes, he’s under contract for two more years. But Brown has grossly outperformed his five-year, $41.96 million contract.

While the Steelers have an internal rule that prohibits the extension of any contract with more than one year remaining other than the contract of a quarterback, it could make sense to deviate from that policy in this specific case. If they won’t, it could make sense for Brown to exercise his rights under the CBA to pressure the Steelers to do so.

Any effort to do so would entail risk, because the Steelers aren’t in the habit of blinking in these situations, no matter how good the player involved may be.

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35 Responses to “Loss of Martavis Bryant could be Antonio Brown’s gain”
  1. tccoats says: Mar 13, 2016 8:47 PM

    They gave him a good contract probably before he deserved it and he opted for the guaranteed money, just play out your contract…

  2. 6ball says: Mar 13, 2016 8:54 PM

    .
    It makes no sense to play hardball with Brown. Even though he’s, 27, he’s more than a one trick pony and looks like he’ll be a productive asset well into his 30’s.. Creating hard feelings and having him leave for free agency seems like a moronic game plan. The Steelers wouldn’t be giving in as much as rewarding over achievement.
    .

  3. therealraider says: Mar 13, 2016 8:54 PM

    Stop doing multi-year deals and guys will never get to gripe about their contracts.

  4. therealraider says: Mar 13, 2016 8:54 PM

    Stop doing multi-year deals and guys wont be able to gripe about their contracts.

  5. TebowedOutOfThePostSeasonAndNeverToReturn says: Mar 13, 2016 9:00 PM

    He’s gonna turn them over a barrel and make them pay. Salary cap space: Buh Bye! LOL.

  6. tebowedoutofthepostseasonandnevertooreturn says: Mar 13, 2016 9:07 PM

    Get a life! Only place Brown is going is to the Superbowl this year.

  7. unbiasedwhitepftreader says: Mar 13, 2016 9:08 PM

    Pay the man! He is a one-man wrecking crew. ..except when he plays Baltimore😉 Although I’m terrified on every play.

  8. carltonsaves says: Mar 13, 2016 9:11 PM

    tccoats says:
    Mar 13, 2016 8:47 PM
    They gave him a good contract probably before he deserved it and he opted for the guaranteed money, just play out your contract…

    Then I’m sure you’d agree a team should let a player play out their contract and not cut him prior to its expiration right?

  9. rajbais says: Mar 13, 2016 9:20 PM

    It’s also Darrius Heyward-Bey’s.

    In his first four games, on 20 targets, he caught 15 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns.

    That’s 60 passes for 736 yards and 8 touchdowns on 80 targets.

  10. terryleather says: Mar 13, 2016 9:24 PM

    Yeah, because they had such a hard time replacing Mike Wallace when he wanted more money than the Steelers wanted to pay him.

    It would be incredibly stupid to give a guy a huge contract BEFORE he goes on Dancing With the Stars. It’s even more stupid for a guy to risk a huge contract to be on that ridiculous show. He should wait until he retires to be on there.

  11. boltergeist19 says: Mar 13, 2016 9:27 PM

    Do the right thing Steelers. He is a solid man and player. Should be making 12-14 a year. Sign him to a 5/65 mill with 25 guaranteed. You are by far one of the best run organizations in sports and believe in your own so stay true to the homegrown talent and show him he is wanted with filet mignon and not just sirloin. It is a two way street. He didn’t argue or complain and could have so. Pay him before you get old man weddle cause he is worth every penny.

    Should be having this talk with the Pirates and Andrew Mccutcheon as well. Blue collar or not these orgs should ante up.

  12. boyso3 says: Mar 13, 2016 9:32 PM

    There are only so many special players like Brown in the league. I think he’s the most dangerous player on the field at all times and if I were Pittsburgh I would do everything I could to make him happy. Obviously you can’t go crazy with the numbers but you gotta lock him up somehow. I would try a long term extension and make sure you keep him through his peak years. He is what makes football fun to watch.

  13. reger91 says: Mar 13, 2016 9:38 PM

    A.B.’s gonna get his money, if not in Pittsburgh then with some other team.

  14. gadgetking2010 says: Mar 13, 2016 9:41 PM

    Why don’t you report on last years adjustments ?

    Summer of 2015 they advanced 2 million from his 2016 salary as a 2015 signing bonus. This boosted him to 8 million for 2015. This year they will most likely do something similar again. Then next off-season, Summer of 2017, they will tear up the final year and sign him to an extension / new contract (on schedule). All of this also keeps the salary cap hit manageable.

  15. reger91 says: Mar 13, 2016 9:42 PM

    terryleather, it didn’t hurt Ward’s career what’s with you guys? It’s dancing not mortal combat

  16. reger91 says: Mar 13, 2016 9:50 PM

    terryleather, I’ve lost track of how many people have been killed on that show, That’s why the Bronco’s won’t let Von Miller be on it.

  17. dynastyfootballforme says: Mar 13, 2016 9:51 PM

    He deserves more, but pursuing it always causes collateral damage such as team/media distractions, reporting to camp out of ideal shape, etc

  18. whenwilliteverend says: Mar 13, 2016 9:52 PM

    I would normally say the player should honor the contract but they could surely make an exception here. I have an idea–give him more money but make it incentive based. If he can duplicate the year he had last year then he deserves more money so put in a bunch of incentives. Then it’s a win-win for both parties.

  19. realtruthteller100 says: Mar 13, 2016 9:56 PM

    not tryin to be a conscpiarcy theorist, but u have it wonder if bryant wasnt framed. i mean think about it: u have a guy like bryant with no history of drug use all of a sudden has a bunch of missed tests and is now getting suspended. who stands to gain form that? thats right, antonio brown. think about it, if uve ever been in a nfl locker room u know that every player has easy access to every other players phone. he could of dleeted the caldenar events saying bryant had a drug test and then poof, brown gets more money. really shahy stuff goin on here i u ask me.

  20. cheffyglenn says: Mar 13, 2016 10:42 PM

    @realtruthteller100 I think your tinfoil hat is slipping off or you need thicker tinfoil because the aliens are getting to your brain. Actually it was probably Tom Brady or one of his deflater buddies. No I got it 🎅 Claus and the Easter Bunny were in cahoots with the boogie man and they erased his calender appointments and then they got the sandman to put Bryant into a trance and made him forget about his drug tests. Yep that’s what happened!!! Either that or it’s George Bushes fault.

  21. mbmixer says: Mar 13, 2016 10:44 PM

    Pay the man and move on

  22. realtruthteller100 says: Mar 13, 2016 10:58 PM

    @cheffyglenn u think its possible bush is involved? i wouldnt put it passed him. big if true

  23. fanofpft says: Mar 13, 2016 11:05 PM

    Loss of Martavis Bryant could be Antonio Brown’s gain”

    If he can get his hair on right.

  24. 87hollywoodhorn says: Mar 13, 2016 11:50 PM

    Antonio Brown is overrated. Not as good as the numbers suggest.

  25. Stiller43 says: Mar 13, 2016 11:52 PM

    I love AB, but he’s barking up the wrong tree if he’s going to take the route you detailed.

    The Steelers are the Steelers, right or wrong. They dont do deals with more than 1 year left.

    Yeah yeah, i know the teams can cut a player with no notice and screw them out of money, but dont sign a 5 yr deal if you dont intend to play 5 years for those terms. He’s not signing up for a pay cut if he underperformed, dont hold out because he’s one of the best now.

  26. mysterytonite says: Mar 14, 2016 12:31 AM

    Lego head is the best offensive player in the game. With Bryant facing a year long suspension now would be the time to use his leverage to get what he deserves. I’d like to see how Ben would do with Sammie Coates and hot hands Hayward bey catching for him. Brown should be the highest paid offensive player in the game sans the qb position.

  27. 6thsense10 says: Mar 14, 2016 2:23 AM

    Stiller43 says:
    Mar 13, 2016 11:52 PM
    I love AB, but he’s barking up the wrong tree if he’s going to take the route you detailed.

    The Steelers are the Steelers, right or wrong. They dont do deals with more than 1 year left.

    Yeah yeah, i know the teams can cut a player with no notice and screw them out of money, but dont sign a 5 yr deal if you dont intend to play 5 years for those terms. He’s not signing up for a pay cut if he underperformed, dont hold out because he’s one of the best now.
    _______
    Your last sentence makes absolutely no sense. On one hand you acknowledge that teams regularly cut players before their contract is up voiding the balance of money owed and then immediately you say that Brown isn’t signing up for a pay cut if he underperformed. Yea because the team can cut him or force a pay cut if he underporms. There’s no need to sign up for anything. Also the nonsense of not signing a 5 year deal if you don’t want to play for the terms of that deal…does that apply to management also?

    If having players use leverage to push for renegotiated contracts,like teams do, bother you so much why not advocate for fully guaranteed contracts like every other major sport? Hold outs and cuts don’t occur in those sports precisely due to this.

  28. nenlain says: Mar 14, 2016 3:32 AM

    Other than the contract of a quarterback?

    Brown should skip off season workouts, and training camp included until he gets a better deal.

  29. pphins4life12 says: Mar 14, 2016 6:02 AM

    Look at it this way.. teams will cut you if you don’t live up to your contract right, so why can’t players request more if they have exceeded the contract??

  30. The Real Cleveland Sticks Together says: Mar 14, 2016 7:47 AM

    Here’s the bottom line…
    Martavis, you have to be smarter, bro.

    You’re one of the best young up and coming wide outs in the league. You also play for one of the best organizations in the league. With one of the best quarterbacks in the league. And opposite of maybe the best wide receiver in the league.

    Although I am a fan of legalizing marijuana, there are rules you have to follow when you play in the NFL. You’re leaving millions of dollars on the table.

    But AB is definitely underpaid at this point. There is no doubt he is outplaying his current contract. I understand the Steelers outlook on not extending players with more than one year remaining (besides Big Benjamin), I would say Brown is more than deserving. And he doesn’t seem to be a knucklehead like MB.

    MB, I am a fan. Drafted you in the 7th rd in fantasy and held on until you came back from suspension. You are an absolute beast bro. Try to stay clean and you can get paid like Megatron.

  31. TebowedOutOfThePostSeasonAndNeverToReturn says: Mar 14, 2016 9:00 AM

    I think we can all agree that the team that wears bumblebee halloween costumes is on a downward spiral. The bumblebee wearing costume players no longer see a championship in site and just want to squeeze the most $$$ they can out of this organization. May I suggest the Steelers market a full line of bumblebee outfits and accessories to pay for their players’ greedy ways. I think that will work to keep the players in Pittsburgh and continue deluding the fans into thinking they care about winning more than $$$$.

  32. peytonwantsaflag says: Mar 14, 2016 9:04 AM

    Brown is a GREAT receiver against subpar teams – should he be paid for that?

  33. patsfan4lifesbchamps says: Mar 14, 2016 9:19 AM

    His concussion history should be factored into any future contract negotiations.

  34. steelerdynasty2010 says: Mar 14, 2016 12:18 PM

    i think we need to put a few things in perspective. He’s not playing on a rookie deal that gives him less than 1m per. He has a multi-million dollar contract with plenty of guaranteed money. so let’s stop using the term “underpaid”…is he paid less than some other wideouts? yes. to call him underpaid would suggest that ALL those guys being paid more than him are being appropriately compensated. If that’s your take, then i can understand how one could use the term “underpaid” when describing AB’s contract. I think the more accurate description is that most/maybe-all of those wideouts are being OVERPAID and skewing the averages and therefor the relative compensation for clear and obvious talents such as Brown. let’s stop asking well-run franchises to mismanage themselves to compete with franchises who habitually over/frivolously spend on players and/or bend to player demands.

  35. steelerben says: Mar 14, 2016 12:53 PM

    Brown’s best chance to get a huge payday is to continue playing at a high level. Either the Steelers will open up the vaults to extend him with one year left on his deal, which is how the franchise handles business, or he will hit the end of his contract and make a blockbuster deal as a free agent.

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