Steelers news: Antonio Brown offers lesson for NFL stars


According to a report by NFL insider Ian Rapoport, wide receiver Antonio Brown was considering a holdout in order to get a raise this year from the Pittsburgh Steelers. Instead he chose to show up and hope that the team would take care of him. It was a smart move:

This week the Steelers re-structured Brown’s deal and moved $2 million of his money from 2016 up to 2015, essentially giving him a short-term bonus to reward him for his play.

Brown’s base salary in 2015 was just $6 million, per He is under contract until the end of the 2017 season and he has outplayed his current deal. The Steelers were under no obligation to pay Brown more money now, but by doing so they showed a gesture of good faith in their star wide receiver. If he continues to play at this level through the end of his deal I’m certain that he will one day be the highest paid receiver in the NFL.

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Holding out would have been a really risky move for Brown. If he had, the Steelers likely would have been less inclined to give him those extra dollars in 2015.

The story is a stark contrast to the one currently unfolding for the Seattle Seahawks and their All-Pro strong safety Kam Chancellor, whose holdout is now in its second month.

Chancellor no-showed every day of training camp and has had no time with his teammates on the field. He appears to be dug in and insisting that the team give him more guaranteed money. The Seahawks have nothing to gain by re-negotiating a contract with three years left.

Perhaps if Chancellor had reported like expected a deal could have been reached by now. After all, Seattle made a similar move with Marshawn Lynch last offseason to placate him.

By going rogue Chancellor is alienating himself from the Seahawks front office and fanbase. Even though Chancellor is a team captain and wildly popular, droves of Seahawks fans are no longer supporting him due to the perceived damage that he’s doing to the team. That’s going to hurt Chancellor’s earning potential just as much as those ever-escalating fines.

Brown banked on Pittsburgh recognizing his value and didn’t resort to threats or any conduct that could be considered detrimental to the team.

Maybe Chancellor has a very legitimate reason to holdout. If he’s injured his stance is certainly understandable. He played in Super Bowl 49 with a multitude of injuries that would have kept alot of players on the sidelines. Chancellor sacrificed his body for the team but the sad fact is that NFL players have little to no leverage in these situations.

Brown offers a poignant lesson for Chancellor and other NFL stars that are at odds with their teams. Doing the right thing gets rewarded more often than picking fights.

The NFL may be a brutal business, but the smartest businesses (both in sports and the rest of the world) reward the employees that go the extra mile for the organization. Brown banked on Pittsburgh recognizing his value and didn’t resort to threats or any conduct that could be considered detrimental to the team.

He made the right call.

Next: Steelers vs. Panthers: Tomlin Tuesday?

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