The agent for Antonio Brown and Steelers GM Kevin Colbert have begun discussing the wide receiver’s contract situation, ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler writes. Brown still has two years to go on his contract but has been pushing for a pay bump. The Steelers, meanwhile, have a policy not to renegotiate with non-quarterbacks until the final year of a player’s deal.
“We believe in our philosophy,” Colbert said recently, with regards to the team’s policy. “I don’t see that changing, but I’ll never address a player individually.”
Brown is slated to earn a guaranteed base of $6.25MM this year and $8.71MM in 2017 before potentially hitting the open market. Widely regarded as one of the very best wide receivers in the NFL, Brown is outside of the top ten at his position in terms of pay. In fact, Brown is No. 18 in terms of average annual value, putting him behind the likes of Pierre Garcon, Michael Crabtree, Allen Hurns, Vincent Jackson, and Doug Baldwin.
Last year, the Steelers restructured Brown’s deal to move $2MM of future salary into 2015. While Brown says that he appreciated that gesture, he is looking for something much more meaningful this time. The Steelers certainly want to keep Brown happy, but so far they have been unwilling to set a precedent by reworking his deal so far out from its expiration.
Brown tied for the league lead in receptions (136), finished second in yards (1,834), and found the end zone 10 times last season.
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