Steelers will carry $21.12 million under Antonio Brown’s name in 2019

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The Raiders will assume a hefty cap charge under Antonio Brown‘s name this year, for obvious reasons. The Steelers, who no longer will be employing Brown as of 4:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, will assume a hefty cap charge, too.

When the poo initially hit the propellor between Brown and the Steelers more than two months ago, we broke down his contract from all angles. For the Steelers, the most important angle is now this: Of their 2019 cap space, $21.12 million of it will be devoted to Brown.

That number comes from the remaining balance of his $19 million signing bonus from two years ago ($11.4 million) and his restructuring bonus from 2018 of $12.96 million ($9.72 million).

Last year’s payment created $9.72 million in 2018 cap room for the Steelers, and ultimately did nothing for Brown other than convert his base salary into a guaranteed payment (as if the Steelers would have cut him). According to the terms of his most recent Steelers contract, the $12.96 million bonus earned in March was paid out in 17 weekly installments during the regular season, just as it would have been without the restructuring.

If the Steelers had kept Brown, his cap number would have been $22.165 million. But the Steelers quite possibly would have approached him about another cap-room restructuring — something he likely would have accepted if the relationship hadn’t imploded late last year.

As it stands, the Steelers will save more than $15 million in cash, which can go to other players.

Still, the cap hit is a major one, and the fact that the Steelers became so willing to absorb it shows how motivated they were to trade him.

51 responses to “Steelers will carry $21.12 million under Antonio Brown’s name in 2019

  1. While they carry the dead money +$21 million against the cap, they save the $15 million or so in real money (AB pay on 2019) against the cap.

    The net is a $6 million hit against the 2019 cap.

    Clearly they see that $6 million of cap room as 2019 roster cap as well spent.

  2. He was a great player and will be missed but his attitude was cancerous. The offense will change hopefully having to rely less on Brown and other players will be forced to step up.The O line will still give Ben the time to find somebody……its not the end of the world but it will be a different one for sure.

  3. I give the relationship to Carr about 10 minutes before it sours until Carr throws an off target pass or throws to another receiver not named Brown

  4. This will be a chance for the Steelers to officially move on and attempt to create a better team environment. It’s going to end up being a plus for them.

  5. What a debacle for the Steeler organization. They need to do some serious soul searching as far as their direction going forward. Are they going to continue to let players put themselves before the team just because of their talent, (and in the process derail their season)?

    Everyone mocks the “Patriot Way”, but there is something to be said for running a strict program built around disciple and accountability.

    It feels like every year is the same story between these two teams: The Patriots do more with less than anyone else and the Steelers do less with more than anyone else.

    Talent isn’t eveything.

  6. Steelers should go after Golden Tate and draft a receiver with the 3rd Round pick they gained. This will never replace Brown’s talent but it will lessen the burden while they develop Washington and a new WR.

  7. The Raiders essentially traded Amari Cooper and two midround picks for Antonio Brown and a first-rounder. Not a Raiders fan but that is some strong work.

  8. Harrison, Bell, Brown, Polumalu. Lots of Steeler greats mad at one of the perennial best NFL organizations. The Steelers were always so good at convincing guys to out the team first and to play the Steelers way. That really looks like it’s breaking down.

    Maybe it’s Ben. Maybe it’s Tomlin. Or maybe this Rooney doesn’t treat guys as well as his dad did. Either way, it will be interesting to see how they pick up the pieces.

    Still the best organization in the AFCN but there are serious cracks in the foundation. Ravens and Browns fans licking their chops.

  9. Seems like the steelers goofed on this one. Tell ben to zip it up with regard to blaming others. That’s easy. Guarantee the remaining years on brown’s contract . That’s easy. Instead, trade him and still have cap charge of 20 million.

  10. I’m sure Rog will announce a last second temporary cap adjustment for that just so happens to perfectly offset that amount.

  11. Good riddance. Let him be the Raiders problem. Not real sure why some are happy with giving him 30 million guaranteed, you just saw that he’s a quitter when he doesn’t get his way. In all seriousness, how long do you think he will be happy? Until he doesn’t get the ball 75% of the time, when another WR gets a contract with more guarantees than his etc? Take your pick.

    The new CBA will put the hammer down on these type of stunts. Imo, his little “me show” has hurt the players in the next CBA negotiation.

  12. This should be framed as “Steelers save $1M in cap space and $15M in cash by trading Brown.”

  13. tavisteelersfan says:
    March 10, 2019 at 10:19 am
    While they carry the dead money +$21 million against the cap, they save the $15 million or so in real money (AB pay on 2019) against the cap.
    The net is a $6 million hit against the 2019 cap.
    Clearly they see that $6 million of cap room as 2019 roster cap as well spent.
    ———————————————————————————-
    The Steelers save $15 million is CASH but that does not reduce the cap hit.

    As explained above, the cap hit is ALL because of the prorated amounts of bonuses that Brown already received. The $15 million cash saved is the salary and roster bonus they would have paid if he was still on the team. The $21 million cap hit does not include an salary or roster bonus from this coming year.

    If Brown had stayed with the team he would have made the $15 million which would count against the cap this year, and then only $7 million of the $21 million currently being charged against the cap would have the been charged this year. The other $14 million that is currently going to be charged against the cap would have been spread over 2020 and 2021.

  14. At this point, the Steelers would probably rather pay $21 million to unload him than have him play for them at no charge.

    What’s the over/under in games before Carr goes from being “that’s my quarterback,” to speculation about his personal life?

    Put me down for four regular season; that’s when the sports reporters first start issuing grades, with a quarter of the season in the books.

  15. AB is garbage but he was able to bring the Steelers organization to their knees. What an embarrassment for Steelers. AB is their daddy. Other than AB the main person responsible for this is Tomlin . There is no way he should still have a job. THE most overrated coach in NFL

  16. “Still the best organization in the AFCN but there are serious cracks in the foundation. Ravens and Browns fans licking their chops.”

    That’s like saying they are the smartest kid on the short bus. There AFC North is and has been the weakest division in the NFL.

  17. Steelers allowed a great player to shoot his way out of town and dictate where he wanted to go. They got peanuts in return for carrying 21 mil in dead cap money. They got their clocks cleaned by Brown and the Raiders. All most steeler fans have to say are things like they’re relieved, Brown will destroy the Raiders locker room, Raiders will still stink(even though they have 3 1rsts and a 2nd this yr, 2 1rsts and 2 2nds next yr and 45 mil in cap room after Brown). Absolute joke.

  18. I agree this is on Tomlin and i cant believe Rooney cant see this. Tomlin’s inability to reel these guys in and provide some semblance of a disciplined structure lead to and will continue to lead to player’s acting out. Whose next on the Steelers to show his backside? He just stands in the back row and says nothing! This was supposed to be his team, he is the damn head Coach. I not a Steelers fan but used to have respect for their program.But now, it is a damn disgrace. Someone has to set a disciplinary precedent for this team(wont be the HC). Great performance should be compensated, yes, but lack of integrity should not be tolerated.

  19. Where did all the people go saying the Steelers would be lucky to get a 7th round pick? Thet have now turned into people saying the Steelers ONLY got a 3rd and 5th. You don’t have to be a NFL
    draft wizard to see that what the Steelers got in return was better than a 7th.

    Sure, they could have played hard ball, and kept him. But short of finding a way to suspend him after the season started, he would have been nothing but a cancer to the team. The Steelers have been the proverbial “canary in the coal mine” on this, you can be sure it will be addressed in the new CBA. The players will not be allowed to walk from teams, without repercussions, during a contract after getting huge signing bonus/guarantees in the future. You can take that to the bank.

  20. There might have been a few fringe people talking 7th rnd pks, but the consensus was a 1rst or a high 2nd. Even the steelers originally said they were holding out for a 1rst. It’s disingenuous for anyone to say the return the steelers got for Brown was shockingly low. As for the CBA legislating this out, it’s not gonna happen. If a top player decides he doesn’t want to be there anymore, has leverage because he’s already made 70 mil and can walk away from the game, there’s no way to make him stay and play for you. Not worth the headache. The steelers knew the situation was untenable and got what they could.

  21. steelpenguin6687 says:
    March 10, 2019 at 11:58 am

    Where did all the people go saying the Steelers would be lucky to get a 7th round pick? Thet have now turned into people saying the Steelers ONLY got a 3rd and 5th. You don’t have to be a NFL
    draft wizard to see that what the Steelers got in return was better than a 7th.
    ————————————————————————————-
    Let’s see what the final terms of the deal are when they are announced in full. Wouldn’t shock me to find out the Steelers had to throw in a pick or two back to Oakland to make this thing work.

  22. Steelers bungled this deal and got owned by the Raiders. What a hot mess this team has become. A couple of late round draft picks won’t make a difference. Steelers draft clunkers anyway.

  23. The Steelers could have received better value and had better suitors but The contract seems to have blown everything up. A high 3rd pick could eventually be moved up to a 2 second rounder with another trade. The big thing here is they got rid of one cancerous money grubbing teammate in Bell, now they get rid of another in AB and don’t have to deal with these headaches in the locker room.

  24. All most steeler fans have to say are things like they’re relieved, Brown will destroy the Raiders locker room, Raiders will still stink(
    _______________________________________________________________________________________
    I highly doubt Brown will put up the same numbers he did in Pittsburgh. Steelers have the better qb and line. Meanhwhile, the Steelers were able to attain additional picks and drop his contract. Raider fans will be in for a rude awakening if they think browns numbers will be equivalent to what he put up in Pittsburgh.

  25. @tedmurph

    We’ll see when the CBA rolls around. My contention is there won’t be these huge guaranteed money deals that the players are seeking. There will still be substantial guaranteed money, but if you quit, or pull an AB, you pay back a prorated share. The owners are not gonna let this slide. Imo

  26. Brown probably won’t put up the same numbers in Oakland, but if he goes from 1500 to 1200 yrds/yr, that’s ok. Steelers didn’t drop his contract. It was 22 mil on the cap if they kept him, 21 if they didn’t. Raiders had the picks to trade, they’re loaded the next 2 yrs. Besides losing Brown’s production, it will probably hurt Juju’s as well. Now he has to be the guy, instead of a great #2. Not much else there for Pitts WRs. Saw no indication Washington is anything special. Also Raiders have some good players on the OLine, like Hudson and Osemele. Don’t know what happened to them last yr, but with their pks and cap room, it’s fixable.

  27. Stiller43 says:
    March 10, 2019 at 10:51 am

    This should be framed as “Steelers save $1M in cap space and $15M in cash by trading Brown.”

    ————————————————————-
    That’s funny. You consider it a savings when the player doesn’t play for the team that’s taking the dead cap hit. The Steelers are taking a dead cap hit of 21+ million, don’t have the player, will have another player’s salary count against the salary cap. Of course they don’t have to pay a salary to a player not playing for them, duh.

  28. Can’t believe the Steelers only received a 3rd and a 5th. Things are going down hill fast, Steeler fan. Sat hello to Sub-500 for a few years. Raiders are trending up and Gruden and Mayock pulled a fast one on you!!

  29. Steelers have lost not one but two tip-top skill position players due to drama and dysfunction…. ouch… but at least they’ve got a mountain of cap space to rebuild with…. oh snap….

  30. The players will never give up their rights to guaranteed money. that’s their defense against getting cut at any time. I don’t think the CBA will take this up because it’s such a rare situation. If it’s some Joe Schmo that pulls this, they cut him, trade him, make him sit, whatever. Nobody cares. This was a unique combo of alent, dead money and animus you don’t see very often. Don’t see it as a league wide problem.

    This thing about ABrown being a cancer is overblown, IMO. Yes he was a bad actor this past yr and quit on his team, which I don’t condone. But, he decided he wanted out. The previous 7 yrs, all I saw was a productive, hard working, albeit selfish, player. The worst I ever saw was excessive celebrations, which isn’t even a penalty anymore. I expect him to return to that form. I don’t think Bell and Brown are the problems with the steelers, but the symptoms.

  31. There were probably other teams interested, maybe even ones willing to give up a 2nd round pick for Brown. However, apparently, no other team was willing to sink that kind of guaranteed money into the deal, and for good reason, a leopard doesn’t change its spots.

  32. @tedmurph

    I agree, in part, no one disputes AB is a hard worker. However, now that AB has gotten away with it, who knows. If other players attempt it, it will have to be addressed. Especially, with the cap in place. Teams are not going to be willing to give up cap space to players that can just walk away with guaranteed money. We will continue to agree to disagree on the subject. Lol

  33. Besides losing Brown’s production, it will probably hurt Juju’s as well. Now he has to be the guy, instead of a great #2.
    __________________________________________________________________________________
    Juju can be that guy and the Steelers know this. The Steelers will obviously will lose AB’s production but will find a capable replacement and I expect that to be through free agency. Will he be AB, no, but they can find a guy to put up numbers and be a more balanced football team instead of a passing one which they have become. The Steelers can also take the high number 3 pick they received from the raiders and turn it into a number 2 with another trade. They do fine drafting receivers in the draft. All is not lost here with Big Ben always being your qb., making their defense better is a bigger priority, IMO.

  34. March 10, 2019 at 12:53 pm
    Is that a record for dead money devoted to a single player?

    ——————

    Good question. Quite possibly. It’s definitely the most in terms of sheer $$$. But as a percentage of the cap, I’m not sure. Daunte Culpepper comes to mind getting hurt after that huge contract in an era when the cap was a lot smaller.

    It is easily the highest in the NFL currently, with Suh @ $13.1m to the Dolphins being #2. Last year JPP’s $15m to the Giants led the NFL.

  35. Steelers are as good as any team in the league at drafting and developing WRs. This is probably the way they see it (AB is replaceable). Juju is ready, and they will likely draft his #2.

  36. According to Rosenhaus, it was determined after meeting with the GM and owner that it would be best that Brown be traded. What wasn’t normal was the Raiders gave Brown a raise and guaranteed money without extending his contract.
    Rosenhaus said the trade talks between the Steelers abd Bills never got to him.

  37. Art Rooney has now revealed himself to be a Bob Nutting clone. It is all about money to him and not winning. You must pay your stars. Only getting a 3rd and 5th for the best receiver and a compensatory 3rd for Bell? This sets a bad precedent. Every star the Steelers get will do the same thing. The Steelers won’t pay market value. I am turning in my season tickets. I’m done.

  38. Brown gets a new team, $30M guaranteed, same length of previous deal

    Steelers get a 3rd, a 5th, are stuck with the most dead cap money of any player in history, and have set a horrific league precedent of letting a diva whine his way into exactly what he wanted. Also, the biggest diva is still on the team.

    Embarrassing situation all around for the Steelers.

  39. dadindebt6. As per Ed Bouchette of the Post Gazette.:

    Let’s look at the trade option. Contrary to popular belief, the Steelers would not necessarily take a huge hit on their salary cap if they traded Brown.

    If he plays in 2019, his salary cap figure will be $22,165,000. If they trade him, his salary cap figure will be $21,120,000.

    But there’s more than that. What isn’t being taken into account is his 2019 salary of $12,625,000 that won’t be paid and will be wiped from their cap, even though Brown’s individual cap figure will technically remain the same. Also, Brown is due a $2.5 million roster bonus five days after the new league season begins March 13.

    That’s a real AND cap savings of more than $15 million in salary and bonus that won’t be paid or count if they trade him before March 18. (No trades are permitted before March 13, so they would have a five-day window to do so.)

    That brings his realistic salary cap hit down to $6 million if they trade him by then, although technically on the books it will be that $21 million-plus in “dead money.” Plus, it would eliminate him from the books forever after 2019.

    The facts do not make the story interesting.

  40. That brings his realistic salary cap hit down to $6 million if they trade him by then, although technically on the books it will be that $21 million-plus in “dead money.” Plus, it would eliminate him from the books forever after 2019
    ————————————————————
    Good Points!

  41. AB’s stats don’t show the truth my eye-balls saw, which is that he’d lost half a step already this past year. He’ll be elite another year, maybe two, but after that it’ll be several years as merely one of the good ones.

    The Steelers? An unknown quantity with a lot of draft picks, whose greatest offseason loss may well turn out to be the O-line coach.

  42. 37 or not, Roethlisberger’s age is being exaggerated. And, if you haven’t noticed, the Steelers are really really good at spotting dangerous WRs in the draft. What they need to find is another Mike Wallace to stretch the field.

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