Steelers asked Antonio Brown to delay his roster bonus, for cap reasons

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Yes, the Steelers may not have to actually pay any of Antonio Brown‘s $2.5 million roster bonus if he’s traded after March 16. But they don’t want the roster bonus to hit their books as of March 17, for cap purposes.

That’s why the Steelers have asked Brown to delay the due date of the bonus, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. Brown declined.

The Steelers already will be eating $21.12 million in dead money by trading Brown. If they wait until after the roster bonus becomes due, the cap charge moves to $23.62 million. And the Steelers want to keep that from happening.

Thus, despite G.M. Kevin Colbert’s contention that Brown could be traded after the bonus becomes due, the Steelers hope to get a trade done before the close of business on March 16, at which time Brown’s roster spot on March 17 will become locked in. And there’s still optimism from Brown’s perspective that a trade can be accomplished, despite Brown’s expectation that his contract will be renegotiated.

Along those lines, keep this in mind: Brown hasn’t ruled out approving a trade without a new contract in place at the time of the transaction, but simply with an understanding that a new deal will be done by his new team. That could make it a lot easier to get the trade done before the Steelers find themselves eating another $2.5 million in dead money.

68 responses to “Steelers asked Antonio Brown to delay his roster bonus, for cap reasons

  1. Did the Steelers think AB is stupid or something? I would of declined moving the bonus back as well, now the Steelers are that much more motivated to move AB & yet again lose even more of what little leverage they had left in trade negotiations. Arizona should hard after Antonio Brown offering a 2020 2nd round pick for his services. If Arizona could land Antonio Brown & draft 6″1-225pd WR A.J Brown, taking 6ft-205pd Terry McLaurin w/ his 4.35spd in round 5 or 6 with multiple picks in each round to go with Larry Fitzgerald and a young 2nd WR Christian Kirk who was a home run of a draft pick & draft a guy like receiving TE Caleb Wilson in round 4 to pair with TE Charles Clay that would give Arizona a very dangerous core of receivers in the passing game heading into 2019 especially with David Johnson utilized properly again as a key piece to AZ’s passings offense.

  2. What ever, AB is not going to look good coming out of this mess….unless he ends up with the Pats and shuts up.

  3. How did the Steelers botch this deal so bad. The tail seems to be wagging the dog and the GM and HC better get it reversed quickly. Tough to recover for any team to lose 2 players of this magnitude overnight….Ben’s window is closing and the defense can’t carry the offense……

  4. I doubt he delays this but he should,IF he wants a Trade. You see IF the Steelers wanted They could just wait then release him before Season when everyone else has used their Cap Space meaning AB/Mr.Big Chest has to make League Min. The Bridge has been burned but placing a 2×4 there will help him make something close to what he wants

  5. What I have a hard time computing is that Tomlin is not responding nor vocal on this whole mess and as a coach, he should be up front and commanding.

  6. So, based on the last two articles about Mr. Big Chest, everyone, from Steelers management right down to MBC himself, has botched this. No wonder the Steelers didn’t win anything with him and Bell. Who’s running things out there?

  7. @hawkkiller you do know AJ Brown is AB’s nephew,so there’s no way Cards would want to employ both IF They have any sort of brains. Two Diva Browns would really make Cards sorry/A Train Wreck,even worse than Grudens Raiders

  8. hawkkiller says:
    March 3, 2019 at 8:43 pm
    Did the Steelers think AB is stupid or something?

    How about this for a different take….you get nothing if you don’t ask? Nothing. Think Henry Ford said something about that and he was pretty successful.

    SMH

  9. Why would Brown do that? I really can’t think of one reason., unless I’m missing something- Steelers need to pay him, trade him, or cut him

    What a complete mess.

  10. The Steelers did fine without Leveon Bell last year and they will do fine without AB. Big Ben is the guy that keeps the Steelers offense running not the other way around.

  11. What did they offer him for the delay? Clearly, nothing………or why would he consider it?

  12. The entire cap “process” should be simplified. IE, no pushing forward, etc. I challenge most fans to exactly describe their team’s cap situation. You just can’t.

  13. As if NFL teams go out of their way to contractually help players. What would a team say to a player if the player asked to be cut after his roster bonus was activated??? PUUUHLEEEASE!!! Good move AB

  14. AB voluntarily signed a deal, and after 2 years and a large signing bonus is acting up to get off the team and go to a new team, so he can get another big contract?

    Why do that if you are the Steelers?
    What if you can’t get enough in trade value for him?
    Especially after he is telling any new team, not only do you have to give up picks, you have to pay me top dollar, and I’m 31 and a head case.

    If AB is deliberately sabotaging his trade value, then why trade him?
    Keep him, and try and suspend him. An arbitrator may or may not rule in your favor, but AB will stay unhappy.

    If he really wanted off the team, he should have done this quietly.

  15. After week 16 steelers could easily got a good first round pick and brown could get his money.

    Now mr big chest has become so unhinged that he has become untradeable.

    His agent looks terrible for not smashing every device he has.

  16. Why why would the Steelers think Antonio Brown would agree to delay the roster-bonus hit on the cap for their benefit? Good grief.

  17. @1andDone:

    Because they control his rights. If I were the Gm who is attempting to give him the trade he wants while eating 21 million dead cap dollars, and he said no to delaying an even larger cap hit… I’d hand him a calendar with the date training camp starts and tell him not to be late.

  18. I just dont see why Brown would risk anything to help the steelers at this point. The Steelers considered franchising Bell again even after what happened last season.

  19. Let’s grab some 🍿 and watch the drama unfold over the next two weeks! This is completely on Steelers coach and front office to let this escalate out of control. AB should have been told point blank to shut up or he won’t be traded and will be stuck here in depth chart as a third WR.

  20. He’s been nothing but a pain in their backside since week 16. (Probably before). Why did they even ask him to cooperate in any way?

    He’s not smart enough to keep his mouth shut, so they can get a trade accomplished. He’s all but made himself untradable.

    Lost in all of this is that AB could be facing a league suspension for off the field issues. The chair throwing incident, and the alleged domestic issue. So, I’m sure other GMs will point that out in any negotiations.

  21. The Steelers botched it all with Bell. Now they are begging Brown to hold off bonus after the GM, coach and QB have been trashing him since the season ended.

    They look to be getting nothing in return for both.

  22. somethinsbruin says:
    March 3, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    I’m feeling the Seahawks on this one
    __________________________________________

    Seahawks fan here. I don’t want him within a hundred miles of Seattle (more would be preferable). But I’m scared that, despite our lack of draft capital, JS/PC will work out some sort of magic and make it happen. We haven’t had a splash signing since Jimmy, so I figure it’s about time Seattle makes another, unfortunately.

    A.B. supposedly said that he doesn’t need to play football? Please DON’T!!

  23. The Steelers have been one of the top organizations in the NFL because they are not afraid to stand up to head cases like Antonio Brown. Just look at other talented WR’s they’ve had that they got rid of because they caused problems — such as Santonio Brown, Plaxico Burris, and Martavis Bryant to name three off the top of my head.
    Ultimately, the Steelers will be proven right for sending this guy packing, wait and see.

  24. steelcurtainn says:
    March 3, 2019 at 9:25 pm
    The Steelers did fine without Leveon Bell last year and they will do fine without AB.

    ———-

    If by “fine” you mean “missed the playoffs” then yeah sure

  25. I can’t believe they asked him! Kind of like going through a nasty divorce and asking your ex wife who hates your guts to delay the alimony payments by 6 months. Better off not even asking.

  26. The question was posed asking who is running the show in Pittsburgh….I can assure its not a frequenters of message parlors.

    The Steelers are letting AB know two can play the media game.

  27. Nofoolnodrool says:
    March 4, 2019 at 8:29 am
    The question was posed asking who is running the show in Pittsburgh….I can assure its not a frequenters of message parlors.

    The Steelers are letting AB know two can play the media game.

    ———

    Is it the only coach in NFL history to trip an opposing player on a return play?

  28. nyneal says:
    March 4, 2019 at 7:09 am
    The Steelers have been one of the top organizations in the NFL because they are not afraid to stand up to head cases like Antonio Brown. Just look at other talented WR’s they’ve had that they got rid of because they caused problems — such as Santonio Brown, Plaxico Burris, and Martavis Bryant to name three off the top of my head.
    Ultimately, the Steelers will be proven right for sending this guy packing, wait and see.
    ————————————

    Literally the funniest thing I’ve ever read on here trying to make the Steelers the hero’s. The Steelers are tyrants, they invented the term home town discount. If you don’t take what they offer they’ve shown that they will trash you in the media and have the fan base turn against you. Le’Veon Bell has shown you that. Don’t get mad becaose Colbert’s kick the can down the road approach and his incessant man love for Ben has started to do him in. You have one guy Bell who played out his rookie deal and then was franchises twice occupying 7 years if his career before he could hit free agency and try to get in his eyes his market value. With Brown, it appears he’s become emotionally unhinged possibly due to personal issues in his life and mismanagement of his money where he now needs another payday. He knows the frugal Steelers aren’t interested in giving it so he has coped uoa a scheme to get out. They’re aren’t good or bad guys it’s jist business. Get over the Steelers stand up to the bullies my eye. They’ve effectively lowballed players to stay for years. If anyone is the hero it’s bell for standing Up to them and walking away from 14 million last year. Not sure if it will pay out but I’m pulling for him.

  29. No chance I would give ANYTHING to get MBC at this point. Not even a 7th…

    If I were the Steelers, Im not trading him. Im not taking that large of a hit to the cap for almost nothing in return. Im holding him, and hoping I can suspend him for conduct detrimental etc, and fines when he doesn’t show up to camp. Get that number down, and push my money forward to retool the team.

  30. If by “fine” you mean “missed the playoffs” then yeah sure
    __________________________________________________________
    The Steelers didn’t miss the playoffs because of these two guys. It’s a team game not about individuals. You’ll be in for a rude awakening if you think these two guys are the only reason the Steelers can win a championship.

  31. Brown continues to disrespect an organization that gave him a chance first, and then gave him everything he wanted. This is the players that feel they are owed everything not humble about all they have.

  32. How did the Steelers lowball Bell?
    Their initial offer would have made Bell the highest paid RB
    and was about 50% higher than the second highest RB, at the time.
    Only Gurley is now paid more.

    Antonio got $17 mil/per and became the highest paid WR
    when he signed, and is still the second highest paid WR
    almost 2 years later. Only behind OBJ from the Giants.

    Funny thing is, Steelers are getting rid of Antonio,
    Giants wanted to get rid of OBJ because he is not worth
    the headaches, and there are questions about Gurley
    after a free agent, freaking CJ Anderson outplayed him
    the second half of the season.

    When teams pay big money to these top players, they are taking on
    huge risks and often, it comes back to bite them.

  33. 1andDone says:

    ” Purely from a business perspective, why would AB do anything to help the Steelers? ”

    Maybe because the Steelers are willing to take on and absorb a financial hit of
    around $21 Mil of dead money, to meet his demand and ship his selfish
    crazy, self-destructing azz out of town ?

    That amounts to about 11 % of next year’s cap, to cover the signing bonus
    he has already received, for the contract he willingly and happily signed
    but now, is not willing to fulfill.

  34. They didn’t pay Bell they’re not going to pay Bell. How can their cap be in such a mess they can’t meet contracts? This is why players in Pitt get pissed. Cut him loose or pay him. I’m sick of the Steel Town Drama, Tomlin you’re just as big a diva as the players.

  35. @mysterytonight

    Funny, for a team that wants players to give them a “hometown discount”, they are always right up against the cap. How does the fact that they won’t give Brown more money, right after signing his last contract, make them “tyrants.” You’re all over the place, with the comment. First you say Bell and Brown aren’t bad guys because it’s business, then you trash the Steelers for doing “business.” Yes, the horrible Steelers paid a player (Shazier) his contract in one lump sum to help him out after his injury. Further, they are trying to sign him again, so he will be on the roster in some capacity this coming year, therefore earning a salary even though he will never play a down of football. Also, had Bell played last year, it would have been his 6th season. So, in 5 seasons, he already had racked up 2 suspensions, and major knee injuries. The Steelers offered him a great deal, he chose not to take it , and didn’t play. They were not prepared to give him more than they thought he was worth, or what made sense for the team.

  36. @SWFLPC.INC

    As a Steelers’ fan, I agree, the trick Tomlin pulled was BS. But let’s not get too far out in left field. I seem to remember some incident with a snowplow. That, also, was not a great display of sportsmanship. I’m sure if we look back at history, we will find other incidents, that were not some of these guys’ finest moments.

  37. 1andDone says:

    ” Purely from a business perspective, why would AB do anything to help the Steelers? ”

    Simply, the Steelers hold all the cards for AB and for the next 3 years. They can say either you will do this or you will be one of the weekly inactive players for every game next year. AB’s only option is to retire, but he would have to return some of the bonus money.

    There are are only two benefits for the Steelers to trade him it is a draft pick(s) and to remove the cancer from the team. Players that quit on teams like AB, the reporters who never played the game don’t get this, are treated like crap from other players and usually detested. Bell was a money situation and most players stay out of that and don’t care, because if they win the holdout it is good for all players.

  38. All of you saying the Steelers should keep AB and force him to play or bench him have obviously never ran a business. Sure, let’s bring back a disgruntled employee and place him around our younger and impressionable players. Better yet, let suspend him and show our other players that we are not above being petty and trying to run a professional organization. That has to be the single most dumbest idea yet! Just trade him for what you can get and let him go and show everyone that you’re capable of winning without him……unless the Steelers don’t think they can win without him or Bell. Hmmmmm???

  39. SWFLPC.INC says:
    March 4, 2019 at 7:15 am
    steelcurtainn says:
    March 3, 2019 at 9:25 pm
    The Steelers did fine without Leveon Bell last year and they will do fine without AB.

    ———-

    If by “fine” you mean “missed the playoffs” then yeah sure

    *************************************************************************

    Except that James Conner had a pro bowl season and did a solid job replacing Bell. No reason to think they would’ve made the playoffs had Bell been playing instead.

  40. steelcurtainn says:
    March 4, 2019 at 10:09 am
    If by “fine” you mean “missed the playoffs” then yeah sure
    __________________________________________________________
    The Steelers didn’t miss the playoffs because of these two guys. It’s a team game not about individuals. You’ll be in for a rude awakening if you think these two guys are the only reason the Steelers can win a championship.

    ———

    Believe me, I don’t think the Steelers will win a championship in the near future under any circumstances

  41. If I am the Steelers, I say AB, you are not being traded, you are a Steeler. If you want to play show up, if not, then we will put you on the restricted list and not pay you. You signed a deal, now honor it. NFL GM’s and owners, please please please do not let the league turn into the NBA where players run the show and dictate when and where they are going to be traded.

  42. Except that James Conner had a pro bowl season and did a solid job replacing Bell. No reason to think they would’ve made the playoffs had Bell been playing instead.

    Don’t waste your time explaining football to someone obviously on the site to troll and not contribute meaningful ideas….. its just an exercise in polishing a turd.

  43. SWFLPC.INC, the only coach to trip another player was Jets conditioning coach Sal Alosi, who stuck out his knee and tripped Dolphins DB Nolan Carroll. Mike Tomlin has never tripped anyone. He was fined for stepping into the running lane, forcing Baltimore’s Jacoby Jones to circumvent him on a runback.

  44. How funny is it that the Steelers are on their knees begging Brown to do them a favor. He should make Little Ben get on the radio and apologize for all the times he ragged on his receivers.

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