Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown is viewed by many as the top player at his position in the NFL, and he’s about to get paid like it.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, when Brown and the Steelers came to an agreement on a contract extension this past summer, it was done with the understanding that the issue would be revisited before the 2017 season. “He’s about to cash in,” wrote Rapoport.
“As Rapoport explained, the salary reconstruction that Brown received this offseason, which bumped him from $6.25 million to $10.25 million, was essentially a Band-Aid. It also came with the promise that we’ll take care of you once the 2017 offseason rolls around,” Connor Orr of NFL.com elaborated.
Currently, Cincinnati Bengals receiver A.J. Green is the highest-paid player at the position in the NFL at $15 million per year. Rapoport believes Brown’s new deal will be one that “eclipses the $15 million that A.J. Green gets on an annual basis.”
Really, this should come as a shock to nobody. Brown has yet to be paid like the premier player he is.
He’s 28 years old and has put together four straight seasons of outstanding production, catching at least 106 passes for at least 1,284 yards and at least eight touchdowns. No other receiver can match the consistent production he’s logged in this time, during which he has averaged 120 catches for 1,579 yards and 11 touchdowns per year.
Pittsburgh has already reportedly determined it will use the franchise tag to lock up running back Le’Veon Bell in 2017 at a cost of just over $12 million (more on that here). As important to the team’s success as Bell is, he isn’t the top priority over Brown, who has as clean an off-field persona as anyone in the league. He’s been frustrated in the past about not receiving a deal that matches his productivity.
Now it’s time for the Steelers to finally reward him for all he’s done.