Will Steelers Brown End Up On Wrong Side Of History?


The Steelers had the best wide receiver in the NFL last season.

Antonio Brown had the stats and the impact on his team to be rightfully considered so.

Without question, the man deserves to get paid a fair salary for his output.

But a holdout? Already?

Yeah, I know, it’s voluntary workouts that begin today that he’s skipping out on. But, it’s not because he’s over 30 and needs more rest. It’s not because of a family matter that’s keeping him away. It’s not because he and Coach Tomlin aren’t getting along.

It’s because he wants more money. That always spells trouble.

And, if you’re a long time Steelers fan, you know that contract holdouts don’t end well for the player who’s doing the holding out. That is if they expect that their actions will lead to getting what they want with their current team.

Brown has three years left on his contract. Count’em. Three. Take a moment to clear your throat of the reflexive chuckle just now.

I find it absurd and a joke that he might hold out heading into the OTA’s and well into the summer in search of a new deal with the Steelers.

There’s no doubt that Antonio Brown is the best NFL receiver. In 2014. There’s no signs pointing to any kind of drop off from last year’s totals. The offense is essentially the same as it was last season with the hopes of targeting Martavis Bryant on a more consistent basis down the field as he continues to develop.

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Otherwise, 2015 will be about the Roethlisberger and Brown Show.

Brown is locked in through 2017, and he already restructured his deal in 2013 and 2014. No pay cuts – just getting a large instant injection into his bank account with ‘signing bonus’ money coming instead of bigger game checks (and less cap hit on the team).

Begin talking about striking a deal in the next season or so? Sure. I wouldn’t want the Steelers to wait until the last second to try and lock in Brown for another four seasons beyond 2017 when his original extension is up.

To not show up for voluntaries and then potentially holdout for longer in the spring and summer months? Absurd and rather foolish if you ask me.

I fully believe that Drew Rosenhaus is pulling the strings on this. Brown used to be part with Rosenhaus then moved to Roc Nation. He left Roc in July of 2014 and went back to Rosenhaus.

Is Rosenhaus trying to change Brown’s iconical acronym CUEUPU to Chest Up, Eyes Up, Pay Up?

Or, perhaps Brown’s a little upset and insecure about the Steelers bringing in so many wide receivers to interview prior to the draft. I really hope he doesn’t get that insecure in life.

I can’t state the foolishness of this enough. Hasn’t Brown gone back and looked at the history of how the Steelers deal with holdouts – most recently Mike Wallace and Hines Ward.

Which lies therein the irony of this whole thing, my friends. Mike Wallace was a contract holdout in 2012 because he wanted a mega deal for being a mediocre receiver. The Steelers rewarded Brown with a contract instead, and the delusional fool Wallace went to Miami a year later.

If he is fully aware of the Steelers not taking kindly having their players hold out, does this mean he potentially would leave the Steelers? Ask for a trade?

Nobody wants an unhappy player on their team. Using Wallace again as the example, he still had his Game Mode selected to ‘half assed’ even though a huge season for him could have meant an even bigger contract than he received from Miami. His poor attitude hurt the team on and off the field.

Would Brown reach that level of disdain? God, I hope not.

I know, this hot-take is all over the place. Deep breath.


I understand that there are other receivers that recently signed contracts that are getting paid more for essentially doing way less than what Brown is currently getting paid.

Calvin Johnson is getting $16 million per year and a guy like Randall Cobb just signinging for four years and $40 million (essentially $10 million per year). It’s easy to see that Brown wants a big jump.

But, Brown just became the big dog in the NFL practically over night with that insane 2014 season.

I understand that he wants to get paid. He’s slated to make over $8 million this season and again in 2016. His cap hit is the largest this season and then lowers over the next two.

It would be far more intelligent – in the football sense and economics – to play this season out and then seek out a new contract to rewrite 2016 and 2017 and beyond. I bet the Steelers would be willing to play ball then.

Should the team not use the cap space they will have after signing rookies – roughly $5 million worth – they are allowed to use that the following season and could boost Brown’s salary in striking a new deal.

I fear that Brown will be on the wrong side of history if he decides to hold out through the OTA’s, and the Steelers won’t want to play ball now.

This most certainly is not the kind of news you want to hear waking up on a Monday in Steeler Nation.

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