Antonio Brown restructures contract

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The Steelers are looking under every rock to create cap space.

The latest candidate for a restructured deal was receiver Antonio Brown.

Per a source with knowledge of the transaction, Brown reduced his $4.5 million base salary to a minimum salary of $650,000.

The remaining $3.85 million was converted to a signing bonus, which will be spread over the five remaining years of Brown’s contract.

It results in a cap savings of $3.08 million to the Steelers.

While not a massive reduction, every dollar helps for a team that used to have cap problems only when the wind was whipping off the Monongahela.

48 responses to “Antonio Brown restructures contract

  1. No snide comments about how the restructure means more money now for Brown and that hes not really being a good team player for restructuring? Maybe Florio’s steelers bias is responsible?!?!

  2. With all the cap room the Browns have they should go after some of the Steelers freee agents and make a serious move at Flacco to try and keep the division competitive and make the Ravens and Steelers “pay” to keep their free agents….NOT a Browns fan

  3. Don’t know how to feel about this..I don’t like it but its the Steelers way..just get it done and worry about the rest in years to come.

  4. Thats a cap savings of almost 8 mill between him and Timmons. With Bens restructure and a few cuts they should have no problem resinging Keenan Lewis and getting Breaston under contract tomorrow.

    You don’t know more than Steelers brass, or any team for that matter, about cap management so save the “this team will be in trouble in 3 years” talk. People have been saying that for 30 and theyre doing juuuust fine.

  5. Ok no joke, and I’m not just being difficult cuz I’m a Ravens fan, but doesn’t it look bad when you have to restructure a contract you just signed LAST FRIGGIN’ YEAR!?

    This wreaks of imcompetence. We’re not talking 4 or 5 years here, you couldn’t forsee your cap needs from one season to the next!?

  6. I assume you meant the Monongahela River?

    All of these restructuring is all well and good, but we’re getting to a point where we need to drop some guys from this team (as painful in some cases as it may be).

    Unless they take smaller cap hits Harrison and Colon should be the first to go. Big Injuries. Big Cap hits.

  7. “with all this restructuring does that mean they make a run @ wallace?”

    No, it means they now have enough space to sign their own draft picks.

  8. @reed20fence

    It doesn’t mean its incompetent. You want to pay the guy to retain him, and you have to give him his money.

    What I think may be confusing you is the term “restructuring” which is really a little of a misnomer. In these cases they aren’t fundamentally changing the deal (as if to say, “Oh darn we run out of money we have to change this deal”) but rather just converting some of the salary to a signing bonus and pay it out to the player immediately.

    The risk of when you do this however, is that that money can’t be recouped very easily. Say Brown were to go out in Week 4 and get arrested for something. If he were still operating under his original contract, the Steelers could cut him and retain some of that money, whereas after the restructuring they can’t get any money back.

    So in that regard, there’s no reason for them to commit to the money upfront, unless they have to to create space.

  9. If you’re intelligent enough, you KNOW the Steelers have been dealing with this type of business for DECADES and there are ways around the salary cap to keep your team within contention year in and year out. The Steelers brass and FO have been the best in the league forever and know exactly what they need to do to compete for the Title in 2013 and they’ll do the same the next year and the years to come.

    Honestly, if you know ANYTHING about the NFL, it’s a WIN NOW LEAGUE, not a “Win in 3 years” league. Only the Cleveland Browns strive toward a “win in 3 years” league. We all know how THAT turns out.

  10. If they really want the cap to matter, teams should have to be under the estimated cap in future years as well. Every year the same teams do this. I bet the Steelers are 30 mil over the projected cap next year right now. If your going to have a cap then take out the loop holes.

  11. reed20fence

    There’s a chance that the Ravens are going to lose half of their defensive starters from this past year and their about to overpay Flacco (not trying to insult Flacco, but lets be honest: how much is 20 TDs and a sub 60% completion percentage really worth?)

    If you want to talk about incompetence, let’s.

  12. This organization has been too loyal..and now it’s comming back to bite um..Didn’t have to worry about that with Cowher and Donnahoe in the 90s and they had pro bowlers up and down the Roster. No player is worth killing the brand. To me Woodley is on his last go round if he dosent play much better & injury free Troy too. Cut um both and move on. And they both need to be inline to redue their deals..Time to cut ties with UNDER achievers! its 2013 not 2009

  13. the other issue with restructuring is that after this season that guaranteed signing bonus becomes pro rated and part of your cap number for the duration of the contract. so if brown got 12 million and its for 3 yrs he will have a 4 million cap number plus his salary. so even if hes cut that is still money against the cap. thats how teams get dead money

  14. Steelpen,

    I get the risk exposure aspect of restructuring and why every player can’t just be given up front money and trusted to stay healthy or out of trouble, but Brown wasn’t any more or less of a character risk in 2012 as he is in 2013. That said, any teenager can put togehther an excel sheet and figure out that according to projections and cap expectations, it’d be better to give the kid more up-front money and keep his cap number low cuz we’ll need that space in the coming year and beyond.

    Could the Steeler’s not have benefitted from more space last season given all the injuries they had to deal with?

  15. Yeah, Steelers. Keep on borrowing from your future to prop up an unsustainable cap situation. Go on witcha bad selves! See ya when ya get to third place in the AFC North (which only should be about a year away).

  16. I don’t know if some of the comments about the salary cap are comical or annoying. A lot of people do not understand the salary cap and suddenly think the Steelers front office doesn’t know what they are doing.

    You can restructure contracts every year and NOT negatively impact your team if done correctly. See what the Patriots did with Tom Brady, all you’re doing is shifiting the dollars around and by extending contracts you spread the monies out. Next year Ben will likely restructure AGAIN but this time it will include a multi-year extension of his current contract which will free up a ton of money. Add that to the typical salary cap bump and there’s your answer to how the top front offices like the Steelers and Patriots do it without having to purge the team of quality players.

  17. Just read Cincy is like 45m UNDER the cap! sounds good now lets see what it is in 3-4 years when all those contracts are but as of 2013 they in excellent shape!

  18. As long as Big Ben is around, they’re going to keep doing these dangerous restructures.

    With Ben they can compete for the playoffs and SuperBowl. They won’t dump their roster with 3-5 years of good QB play left.

  19. Oh my, this is getting rediculous. Steeler fans are here golf clapping their capologist and GM and they don’t even realize how much they’re charging on the credit card. The repo men will be coming for this franchise in due time.

  20. Why does everyone act like the Steelers are the only team doing this?

    Anyone crying foul when they ask Ravens defenders to restructure and take their money up front to create enough room to get a new contract for Flacco under the cap?

    One losing season in the past 12 tells me that I should have a little faith that the front office is able to field a talented team instead of hitting the panic switch.

  21. I’d love to read an analysis if Ben, Brown, and Timmons are moves just to create enough space to sign draft picks and a few key guys or if this is an attempt to free up space for free agent moves.

    I didn’t think the Steelers typically worked free agency but choose instead to rebuild through the draft.

  22. For the last time, restructuring of contracts is NOT detrimental IF done correctly and the Steelers have proven over the last decade they know how to restructure contracts without breaking the team or cap. Omar Kahn is a brilliant negotiator and cap expert and the reason why the Steelers never end up in cap hell.

    They have the formula down where you restructure/extend young contributors and ask aging vets to take a pay cut or face being cut. There’s a reason they consistently field a competitive team…they have a plan, it’s proven and they stick with it.

  23. I Love IT!!! …especially when Intelligence wins the day. No knee jerk reactions and/or listening to outside influence. This is a “Results Oriented” business and these guys have a great pulse on the situation.

    The defense still ranked #1 ..even with injuries!
    Turnovers were our biggest problem last year, not age.

    Oh, and for those that mention the Steelers 2 superbowls last decade …technically it should have been 2 or 3 more, ..if not for spygate, but the Steelers are too classy to mention it. (No disrespect to PATS fans intended.)

    Go Steelers!!!!

  24. Why does PFT hate the Steelers? The Steelers are always competitve, have the greatest fan base of any team, and don’t cheat like the Patriots. The Steelers will find cap space just likel every team. I love it when people say the Steelers are old – our OL is young, we have young depth on D, have a QB in his prime,and a stud WR. We need a RB – but they are a dime a dozen and we need Heath Miller to be healthy. We have a coach who is now hungry again. We can let go of some cap eaters in Harrison, Starks & Hampton and move on. We beat the Ravens late in the year with Charlie Batch! For those who have written the Steelers off, thank you. Morons.

  25. abracadrab:
    Thanks for providing me with a good laugh. That one ought to keep me smiling for weeks. Thanks again.

  26. Translation: They just took almost 4 million of the cap this year and spread it out over the next few years. They are doing it with Big Ben. This will help this year, but stuff the cap that much fuller next year and beyond. It’s a good technique if you do it sparingly. But transfer 15-20M in contracts from this season over the next 4 or so it becomes a problem. By adding 4-5M to the cap for all those years. Next year salaries will inflate, the cap will stay mostly flat, and then to boot you have this 4-5M that eats up any space that might have been there. THey did a terrible job of long term cap management the last few years. Especially since the new CBA.

  27. Gotta laugh at some of these browns fans and raven fans comments. For one thing, the Browns have never had to restructure any players deals because they are never competitive and their star players leave after their rookie contracts because they dont want to stay in cleveland. And the Ravens will be in the same spot the steelers are in the next few years after they get Flacco under contract. You are already starting to see it for coming. Thats the price teams pay for being a winner and keeping their stars. Patriots were in the same boat.

  28. In the late 90s the Steelers were getting trashed for losing their FA’s to other teams. Now they pay them and restructure them and win and they still get trashed. U cant win with these people. They are a class org. And I am sure they know whats up.

  29. Ok let’s talk Johntonio:

    Start by naming these “half of their defenders.”

    Cary Williams – personal foul machine
    Danelle – injury prone phenom
    Krug – contract year wonder replaced by Upshaw
    and Reed – 35.

    I count 4 guys all with a case that could be made either way.

    4 in a defense with more than 11 technical starters due to their penchant for sub packages.

  30. Seems we (the Steelers) do this cap dance every year. Is it effective cap management or mitigating poor decisions? I don’t see other teams doing this. Also seems more prevalent in the Tomlin era. My gut tells me Tomlin is not as good an evaluator of talent as Cowher was, and that Colbert benefitted greatly from Cowher’s input. A total extrapolation on my behalf, but the correlative ties make one wonder.

  31. poopystinkypants says: Feb 27, 2013 8:48 PM

    Seems we (the Steelers) do this cap dance every year. Is it effective cap management or mitigating poor decisions? I don’t see other teams doing this. Also seems more prevalent in the Tomlin era. My gut tells me Tomlin is not as good an evaluator of talent as Cowher was, and that Colbert benefitted greatly from Cowher’s input. A total extrapolation on my behalf, but the correlative ties make one wonder.


    I’m a Bengals fan….but this is exactly what I see from an outsiders POV. In the Cowher era they would let go of the guys they couldn’t afford and always have young budding talent come into place. What you are started to see last year and will see for sure this year and beyond is the last of the Cowher era structure is gone, and it’s up to Tomlin to right things somehow. But he is definitely not the evaluator Cowher was. And I don’t think he is as good at assembling a strong coaching staff. As positions get vacated and replacements come in things seem disjointed. Not knocking the organization. Just think that things have changed for the worse since Cowher retired.

  32. Uh for the record poopystinkypants your guy Cowher wanted to draft Winston Justice INSTEAD of Ben Roethlisberger! Also read on…EVERY OTHER TEAM IS RESTRUCTURING CONTRACTS!

    Steelers will NOT suffer cap hell because of how they manage restructurings, extensions and vet salary reductions/cuts.

  33. Why everybody actin like Breaston is Lynn Swann reincarnated? And callin Omar Khan “Brilliant” lol Foreal? And the difference between Pitts front office and the Patriots is Night and day! Pats cut players and get quality Pro Bowl free agents..Pitt over pays aging vets and sign guys like Lenard Pope..yes Lenard Pope and Josh Victorian when Ike went down because that’s all they could afford..that’s Brilliance at its best!

  34. And your 100% correct on what you see..In the Cowher era we signd MULTIPLE Pro Bowlers/ Hall of Fame free agents..never heard a Peep about restructuring contracts! Last 10 years we’ve signd Ryan Clark and that’s it! Great player but that’s it..Oh and Jerico Cotchery..Pittsburgh Homers will say its because that’s not the Steelers way..Naw its because we been broke every off season for the last 9 years..Players don’t even look to come to the Steelers because they gona have to take league minimum. Does this system work? Yes if you wana stay just contending..We need to work better in Free Agency to get back to WINNIN rings.. 1 or 2 Proven Vets that we could afford to pay what their worth would be nice.

  35. the steelers havent been doing this for 30+ years, the hard salary cap is a relatively new thing in the NFL, and never in its history has it been such an important part of building a team as it is now.

    these restructurings are very different from what tom brady did, brady extended his contract at below market value which game them quite a bit of cap relief

    what this means now is that if you want to cut antonio brown (lol at paying a #2 WR 50M) he would be owed 12M dollars and that would count immediately against the cap.

    your handcuffing your future, and bens new contract wont create any cap room, its probably going to increase his cap numbers actually

  36. In the 1990s, under Cowher, the Steelers front office had a revolving-door policy. Players came and went. Kevin Greene stayed just three seasons in Pittsburgh. Imagine if James Harrison had only played three seasons with the Steelers.
    The Rooneys learned their lesson from the ’90s and kept a great defense together from 2003 to 2010, which led to three Super Bowl appearances and two NFL titles.
    Just when Cowher had a Super Bowl team, in 1995, players disappeared the following season. Greene, Woodson, O’Donnell, just to name a few, left, breaking up winning chemistry that wasn’t again realized until 2004.

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