Antonio Brown restructures contract, frees up nearly $4 million in cap space


As the Steelers continue their now-annual game of salary-cap limbo, their 2011 and 2013 MVP has done the team a favor.

The favor, of course, doesn’t require much of a sacrifice.  In lieu of collecting a total of $6 million in game checks from September through December, Brown took most of it right now.

The restructuring, first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, creates $4 million in cap space.  The actual number, assuming that the Steelers maximized the ability to convert salary to signing bonus by reducing Brown to the minimum base salary for his level of experience ($715,000), comes out to $3,963,750.

Under that approach, Brown gets $5.285 million now.  The bonus money gets spread over the final four years of his current contract.  At $1,321,250 per year, the signing bonus nudges a total of $3.96 million into future cap years.

Other candidates for a restructuring, a no-raise extension, or a release include linebacker LaMarr Woodley, cornerback Ike Taylor, and linebacker Lawrence Timmons.

36 responses to “Antonio Brown restructures contract, frees up nearly $4 million in cap space

  1. The cap will be $160mil in 2016. Keep hating, we’re good. And we might keep Woodley.

  2. primenumber19 says:
    Mar 7, 2014 8:39 PM
    Why don’t agents realize this kind of restructure gets their clients no extra money and only sets them up to get cut sooner?

    He got most of the money right now. you act like it’s hurting him to do so when in fact he still gets his money.

  3. Meanwhile the Ravens traded Monroe for a 4th and 5th, he’ll walk and they will get nothing. Losing picks for nothing… I love it.

  4. Colbert is a joke. Even with the cap going up, you’re still worse off than every other team but the Cowboys. Tomlin’s gonna have to spend a lotta time stepping on the field to keep this team contention.

  5. Just kicking the can down the road.

    Steelers have serious cap issues and they aren’t going away next year or the year after.

  6. You can pretty much count on the Steelers to do whatever they have to do to stay relevant and in contention. You would think that most people would have realized that by now…

  7. Ozzie Newsome is the joke. Whatever magic he had has gone. The Ravens will have bad karma for the next 10 months because of what Ray Rice did and the Raven FO keeping him employed.

  8. This is Colbert’s answer every year..Not looking down the road but just a quick fix for this year…Steelers will never be under the cap..We should be use to this type of dealings since he got the GM title..if he were the CEO of a major company do you think he would have a job after year after year of being in the red? And ppl say a player who restructures is a team player…Ummm NO..They still gettin all their $..just most in a lump sum upfront..who wouldn’t take that deal? LeBron took $5m less to play in Miami ..Jordan was the 6th highest paid Bull at one point..That’s being a TEAM player..Jordan Farmar left $7m on the table to play for the Lakers..TEAM playwr

  9. It’s crazy to look at that team on paper and imagine how they are the second highest payroll. Who the hell is getting all this $$$???

  10. Jbt- let’s educate. First, deferring contracts every year based on the assumption that “we’ll be good” is really only saying that in two years you’ll barely be able to afford what you have now with zero regard for the upcoming UFA’s in ’15 & ’16. Not a good way to run a team at all. There’s a reason only Pitt and Dallas are at the bottom of cap space before FA hits. Colbert is shuffling numbers not running a team. He’s a hack.

    Also the Ravens traded Monroe and he may leave but where you’re wrong? IF he leaves and plays up to his contract the Ravens will likely land a 3rd round compensatory pick next year. So it’s giving up a 4 & 5 in 2014 for a 3 in 2015. Not that bad. And unlike your beloved Steelers Ozzie will NOT overpay average talent like Monroe (not worth the $10M+ he wants per year), nor will he defer contracts.

    So please enjoy life in your little fantasy bubble where your steelers can hardly afford their draft class this year while every other team in this division improves in FA. BAL $25M, CIN $28M, CLE $35M. Stings a little doesn’t it? Cheers!

  11. Just re read the article, and nope, can’t find a mention of Ozzie Newsome, Eugene Monroe, or any raven whatsoever.

    Amazing how they always pop up in the comments section over what jokes they are.

    Only Ozzie does seem to have his team 26 million dollars under the cap, and should Monroe walk, would be in line to receive a third or fourth round compensatory draft pick because of it.

    Guess those facts were in another article too.

  12. Moves like this benefit both the player and the team. The team gets more cap space, the player gets his money right now instead of down the road – when it’s not guaranteed and they could lose it to injury or getting cut.

    Unlike some teams that cheapskate the cap so the owner gets more money, the Steelers make sure their players get what they deserve. Every year the Steelers and their coaches are voted by the players of the nfl as one if the best places in the nfl to play. They have good reasons for doing so.

  13. Oh the rebuild is coming, rising cap or not!!! In the end all we will still hear about is your 6 Lombardi’s. Make your point and I’ll show you a team that has never lost the big game or needed the help of the refs to get to there!!!

  14. It was a long time between Bradshaw and Ben…the same distance between winning the 4th SB and the 5th. You can only get so far with the Neil O’Donnell’s and Alex Smith’s of the world.

    Therefore the Steelers will do what they can in the next 5-6 years to get into the tournament with Ben turning 32 last Sunday.

    He’s made a lot of guys like Randle El, Plax, Nate Washington, Santonio, Wallace and soon Manny Sanders a lot of money……….and their new teams discover maybe it was more Ben then them!

    In ’12 the Steelers were 2-5 in their last half to finish 8-8 with Ben hurt. Last year they were 6-2 in the last half and if Brown stays in bounds against Miami or the refs don’t choke in San Diego, they’re in the playoffs.

    I think the Steelers are much more the 6-2 team that finished the season than the 2-6 team that started it.

  15. I am happy they are 4 mil under the cap! They are not finished restructuring and cutting players. We are good so stop hating. We are on our way back after two average seasons. If we can get a big receiver and a few pieces on defense this team will be much better next season. I was very proud the team continued to play last season till the end. Most teams would have quit after that kind of start. They kept fighting. Dont ever count out the heart of a champion.

  16. More money for the refs to hand them another Super Bowl.

    4 on roids
    2 due to refs handing them a win.

  17. As a CEO with two Super Bowl wins and another appearance on his watch, he would be belle of Wall Street ball. Tell me, what GM has more hardware since Colbert came around.
    Kick the can to Lombardi Street I say.

  18. This is why the Steelers have been one of the most successful NFL franchises over the past 30+ years. Look how many restructurings they have done this off season, while signing their desired players with fiscal restraint. And they are not yet done as some above have noted. IMO they do an incredible job of working within the NFL cap system, and balancing getting/keeping talent. Some of the cap money pushed into the future will not materialize as they make other moves later on. People posting on a message board do not manage the NFL cap structure for a living, but you would think some are experts LOL.

    Steelers’ foes will shudder this year when Ben cranks up that potent offense with healthy players! Can’t wait!

  19. Wait, I’m slightly confused.

    The Steelers will be in awesome shape because the cap will jump to $160 million in 2016, which will fix many issues they’re dealing with year in, year out right now. But the Ravens will be in cap hell by 2016 because of Flacco’s cap number then? Umm…why, exactly?

    And the Ravens also were dumb for dealing a 4th and 5th round pick for Monroe, who is about to become a UFA? Do Steelers fans not remember the Levi Brown trade? I’m not sure what the Cardinals got in the deal, but considering he never played a down for the Steelers, I’d say that was worse than the Monroe trade.

    I also am at a loss to understand why the Ravens would have “bad karma” because of Ray Rice’s alleged actions. These are the same Steeler fans who wanted Ben’s head on a plate after his bathroom incident in Atlanta with a 20 year old girl and were pissed that the Rooneys chose to keep him on the team. And now Ben can do no wrong? What’s consistent about all that?

  20. The anxiety over the Steelers having a winning playoff possible Super Bowl season is mounting. Haters are in here trying to stifle any Steeler joy.

    The Steelers have lost nothing of importance this offseason, they’ve gained. And we’ll gain more cap space with more restructures/extensions of quality players ala Lawrence Timmons. We draft at #15 with Mike Evans or Dennard in sight, we can keep Woodley and Ike now and we have the best WR,QB,RB combo in the division. Name a better one! Our oline gets Pouncey back, we have arguably the best oline in the division right now. We’re stable and will concentrate on defense this offseason.

    Cleveland is in shambles.
    Bmore has no oline, that cap space wont help Flacco. He regressed big time. $120 for a QB who will never sniff a pro bowl.
    Cincinnati had their chance. Once we got healthy at the end of the season, we destroyed them and left their fanbase crying.

    We will win this division. Bank on it. Ive been saying it ever since Dalton choked again.

  21. Did I mention Troy is still making Pro Bowls and Ed Reed is washing cars? Hines Ward is completing a triathlon and Ray Lewis is bowing out of an easy mountain climb.

  22. I’m a Bengals fan, so obviously I hate the Steelers, but the point alluded to earlier about the Steelers trying to do everyhing now is a good one. They have an elite QB (Yes, I said elite) who is getting up there with age. If I’m the Steelers I would mortgage a little bit of the future for the next 2-3 years. Franchise QB’s are hard to find, so when you have one, you do whatever it takes to take advantage of that. You never know when the next one comes along.

    That being said, while the Steelers are a very well run organization and have been for a long time, their last few drafts have been whiffs for the most part.

  23. They need to cut Ike if he will not take a cut. No one will pay him anywhere near what he is scheduled to make. Woodley is worth the money when healthy. They should try to get him to convert about 40-50% of what he is due based on incentives for the number of snaps he plays. If he plays a full game he is about a sack a game player, but he has to be healthy to play.

  24. did you wake up on the wrong side of Pittsburgh today jb. your posts usually make some sense. but the Ravens have bad karma because of Ray Rice? and Ray Lewis retired and Ed Reed should retire. so I’m not sure of your point. that’s like saying the Steelers were bad last year because ward retired and Harrison wasn’t kept. and Ozzie will be getting comp picks for Monroe. so not a bad deal. I do agree the line needs work. but having a Steelers fan criticized line play is just funny. hope your day gets better

  25. For an organization that had supposedly been in salary-cap trouble the Steelers continue to show the kind of numbers-crunching dexterity that allows them to turn over their roster without blowing it up. Back on top of afc north !

  26. I love when people compare ed and troy when they played two different positions, free safety and strong safety. In each team’s scheme, each position even has different roles in each teams respective team defenses. Ed reed was a ball-hawking free safety, troy is a hard tackling strong safety. One thing they had in common though was the freedom to freelance. Troy just does it closer to the line of scrimmage and ed did his in the mid to deep secondary. Another is that both were/are playmakers. Both are also first ballot hall of famers and I think the fans of both teams can agree to that.

  27. The Steelers salary cap situation is not as bad as everyone wants to think. They have trimmed almost $20 million off of their cap number with recent moves and that does not count the $10 million extra that the league handed out. The cap is going to balloon another $27-$30 million in the next few years as well. Plus when you release veterans with years left on their contracts, any cap penalty that remains from these contracts can be prorated (Woodley, Polamalu, Miller, etc). They may be walking the line but it has not caused a real issue……..yet.

  28. More money for the refs to hand them another Super Bowl.

    4 on roids
    2 due to refs handing them a win.

    Give me a break with this nonsense. How did the refs hand the Steelers the Cardinals win? I have seen raw game film of the Seahawks win and the conspiracy theory holds no water. So if the Steelers were able to score the final drive against the Packers, it would have only been because of the refs? Roids? Have you actually seen the 4 Super Bowls from the 70’s? Explain how roids gave them an advantage in those games.

  29. Yeah the cap will be $160m in a few years..and 9/10 they will still be over the cap..More room on the leash the more room they have to choke themselves

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