With 25 teams starting their offseason workout programs this week, the time is ripe for players to signal their discontent with their contracts or other matters by skipping the voluntary work.
Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown is on the list of players going that way this year. Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports reports that Brown will not be joining his teammates at offseason workouts as he tries to push the Steelers toward giving him a new deal.
Brown signed a six-year, $43 million deal with the Steelers in the summer of 2012, but has seen his numbers explode over the last two seasons as the focal point of the Pittsburgh passing offense. He’s caught 239 passes for 3,197 yards and 21 touchdowns for the Steelers while playing in every game and adding two more touchdowns as a punt returner.
Those numbers make Brown integral to anything the Steelers want to do on offense this season and Garafolo reports he’s mulling an extended absence from the Steelers in hopes of getting the new contract terms he wants. Brown is reportedly considering missing June’s mandatory minicamp and training camp time as well, which would make for a contentious standoff if the Steelers don’t find a way to make Brown happy before the calendar gets to those points.