Steelers and Antonio Brown Agree on $68M Contract

Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport the Steelers and Antonio Brown have come to terms on a massive $68 million contract extension that will make him the highest paid wide receiver in the NFL by over $2 million a season on an annual basis.

Brown had been seeking a big payday for the last two seasons but the Steelers held firm on their philosophy of not renegotiating until the final year of a contract, instead doing a series of small restructures to keep Brown happier. Brown had signed a pretty player friendly contract extension in 2012 that he quickly outgrew when he developed from a prospect to one of the best receivers in the NFL.

Brown had a $13.6 million cap charge this season and its likely that the number will rise somewhat with the extension since nearly $9 million of the charge was already sunk as prorated bonus money. The Steelers don’t do salary guarantees beyond the signing bonus so I would think that the bonus should be quite large in the $20M range.

The $55.5 million three year payout blows away the current high water mark of $47.8M earned by AJ Green. The values in the 3 year metric represents a 16% raise and on an annual basis the deal represents a 13.3% increase.  For a non-quarterback who will be 29 years old this year and 30 years old when the extension year kicks in it is a huge number.

This contract is the third in the last three days to really indicate the massive spending increases expected in the new league year. It should open the door to Odell Beckham and Mike Evans to expect massive extensions in the next two years and could open the door for Alshon Jeffery to get an even bigger contract than expected in free agency.

As more details get released on the contract we will update the cap page accordingly. Feel free to email me any info you see posted or hear.

Questions about this article? Reach Jason Fitzgerald on Twitter at @jason_otc