Report: Future RFA Antonio Brown Plans On Taking Different Path Than Mike Wallace

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown let be known that he has no intentions of holding out next year as a restricted free agent according to a blog post by Ed Bouchette today. Bouchette quoted Brown as saying, “Whatever the case may be, I plan on being here.”

Browns, like fellow wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, is entering the final year of his rookie contract and figures to be in the same situation as Mike Wallace was this off-season. Should Brown follow up his break out season of 2011 with another similar type one in 2012, the Steelers will be forced to use a first round tender on him, just as they did with Wallace.

While it looks unlikely right now, the Steelers could decide to try to lock up Brown long term prior to the start of the 2012 season. If that were to happen, it would figure to go down after the final cut-downs take place, as there could be some wiggle room should players like Jonathan Scott and Will Allen not make the final 53 man roster. Those two players alone would clear nearly $3.5 million in 2012 salary cap space.

Before anything happens though with Brown, the Steelers main focus will continue to be getting a long term deal done with Wallace, who has yet to sign his one-year tender offer of $2.742 million. If the Steelers think Brown fits into their long-term plans, and there is no reason to think that he doesn\’t, it would be smart, and cheaper, to try to lock him up now if they have the cap room to do so.

Sanders is a different story as he will have to show in 2012 that he can stay on the field and that the problems with his feet and knees are in the past. Sanders told the media earlier this week that he is 100% and that the injuries are behind him now. He had a great performance against the Denver Broncos in the AFC Wildcard game last year and figures to play a much larger role in the offense in 2012. He most definitely will not be extended prior to the start of the season and will be prime candidate for an original round or first round restricted tender next off-season depending on the type of year that he has.

Brown certainly has said and done all of the right things ever since he was drafted by the Steelers and his Thursday comments that Bouchette reported are very encouraging in light of what is currently going on with Wallace. A lot can happen between now and next off-season, but I take Brown at his word.

  • Tennbob

    AB is way more mature than Wallace. He is always striving to get better. If it had to be a choice between keeping Wallace or Brown I would keep Antonio! Rainey’s speed can replace Wallace.

  • NW86

    I’m glad to hear that, but I’m also surprised he would come out and say it now. Not only could that be interpreted as a bit of a slam on Wallace, it also could hurt his bargaining power come next spring if the Steelers already know he’ll be at all the OTA’s and camp regardless of whether they sign him to a contract.

    The Steelers should have several fairly high profile RFA’s next year, and it will be interesting to see which ones get tendered at what level. Brown should in line for a 1st rounder. Redman, if he plays as well this year as I think he will, should be a 2nd rounder (especially since he was undrafted, meaning that the “original round” tender would mean nothing). Then there is Sanders, Sylvester, Dwyer…

  • Harold

    With some teams yes. But I don’t think it hurts him when negotiating with the Steelers. The Rooneys tend to be very fair (even generous) with players who do things the Steeler way. If you play hard ball, they will play hard ball back, even harder.

    I agree it will be very interesting to see what happens with both Brown and Wallace once the roster is set.

  • SteelerDave

    Agree completely.

    The Steelers are loyal and rewarding of players who do thing the right way and show themselves to be true Steelers. This is not the first time AB has declared his utmost loyalty to us. His future is indeed bright and I would sign him today for 7.5 mil a season for 4 years with an option for 5.

  • Jason White

    AB is a team player. Wallace is too but he’s more about the $$$$$ than he is about winning. He said earlier in the year he’d be willing to play for San Fran the team with no QB. Brown understands the situation he is in and knows he could be on a worse team.

  • Easy for him to say now when he isn’t looking at a couple million dollars difference. I’ll be interested to see what he does when the time comes. I do have to say though, I though last year that of the two, Wallace would be the team guy and Brown would be the problem to sign. Oops.

  • I agree, he is a more complete WR. Brown plays almost as fast as Wallace, and while speed is nice, it is not necessary to win.

  • That would/will be a great day. I would love to see AB become the next Hines.

  • CW

    Antonio Brown has always seemed like a young Hines Ward to me in any interview he’s ever given. I believe this statement reflects the same sort of attitude that made Ward one of the all time great Steelers. He wants to be a Steeler for life and hopefully he will be.

    Hopefully Sanders turns out to be healthy, good at the job, and a similar sort of player to Brown in attitude.

  • Keith Kunze

    Didnt know the Steelers were in the AFC Champ game last year LOL. Though it was the Ravens and Pats…

  • It’s one thing to make a comment like this, heading into the final year of his contract. Of course, what really matters, is what he has to say about it come this time next year.

  • What makes Brown a more complete WR? Brown can do some things better than Mike Wallace, but there are also things Wallace can do better than Brown. Let’s not forget that Brown only has only scored 2 TD’s during his first two seasons, compared to Wallace’s 16 TD’s during his first two years.

  • Jprankster2005

    To be honest I think they should lock Brown up and Sanders even if he has a good yr. I dont see him having a huge yr. But if he had a normal yr. 600-700 yds. 5 to 7 td’s I think they could use the orginal tender on Sanders, But Brown wo uld def. have to be a 1st round tender…….I’m glad he let it be known he’s not a Wallace all about the money kinda of guy, He must truly be happy the Steelers gave him the chance alot of teams passed up on……. And we could get him with a cheap deal this yr. I believe and forget about Wallace if he doesn’t want to sign…… They can always draft another WR early next yr….. With a young OL, Young Defense, I see them going after a TE, WR, Safety or CB early in the draft next yr……I def. wouldn’t mind them signing brown a yr. earlier for cheaper…….. And yes I agree Sanders has alot to prove before he should get a deal……..

  • Jprankster2005

    I don’t think he would get 7.5 million……. I think at very most that’s what there offering Wallace….. i would say in the 5 to 6 million tops range……..Thats if he signed this yr. because he’s getting his money a yr. earlier….. I would say something like 5 yrs. 28 to 32 million, Half the money guarnteed

  • Jprankster2005

    I’ve been saying this since day one……. And everyone would jump on me…… Now it seems like alot of people see what I was seeing……. A true Steeler will get what there worth……. And get what they work for…… That’s why we are so much over the cap, Because we draft good and when they work out there contract, They get what they deserve…….

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Wallace learned fast and has put up good numbers which he looks at as the reason for him getting a big contract…Brown will have a very hard time having the same numbers through 3 years Wallace did…that saying…its a business…Im not mad at Wallace…just wish players would realize if u get a 6M a year contract for 4 years…u should be a millionaire for the rest of your life living very comfortable…never understood this type of greed….I do understand getting as much as you can but it isnt worth putting a label on you the rest of your life.

  • Mancoljduf11

    its about opprotunity and if you put a label om wallace the rest of his life that is just being a jerk

  • Mancoljduf11

    why is this even being published, Brown said he “plans on”!!!!!!!!!! being here next year and that might just mean during the 2013 season that does not completly gaurentee that he will be at OTAS

  • Donw

    The Steelers have always appreciated team loyalty. Often over raw talent that says “show me the money” Look at the flyer they took with Mike Adams. He went to extremes to show team loyalty. They even ignored thier own red flags for “problem players” and they rewarded him with a seecond round pick.

    My guess is we’ll have Mr. Wallace for next year at about 3.5 Million and then he’ll be gone

  • Fish

    I’ll elaborate. Wallace is a damn fine player for what he does, and that’s playing on the outside and stretching the field on go routes. He also runs deep comebacks well which goes hand in hand with the former mentioned and are both a product of his speed. Out of these plays when balls are thrown to him, he catches them and puts up the great numbers that he has. But outside of that he doesn’t do the other things that make a well rounded receiver.

    Brown not only can do the same thing that Wallace does well, but he also can line up in the slot and run routes across the middle, he blocks better , and he is better in the open field after catching the ball. Watching Wallace do any of those things in a game makes me cringe because he does them so poorly. It’s easy to get caught up in the numbers, but Brown really is more of a well rounded player than Wallace.

  • Derick

    Signing Brown long term is critical imo. The most complete WR the Steelers have and is proven already at the age of 23

  • Derick

    Why do people think Wallace is so much more than basically just a 9 route guy? That is a huge deal for an offense to take the top off and require a DT, which Brown probably does not need, BUT that is about all he does, lets agree on that. Nate Washington… look at his numbers this past year.

  • kevin

    You are shortchanging Wallace on short routes. His route running is not as consistent as some other top receivers, but he is very good with yards after the catch on those routes as well. He does not just line up and run down the field. I can agree that Brown is turning into a more well-rounded receiver than Wallace, but the things that Wallace does well are so spectacular that Brown is not as valuable.

  • kevin

    SF was a better team than the Steelers were last year. I am not sure how it would make sense that Wallace is not about winning just because SF’s biggest weakness is at QB.

  • kevin

    It says more about people labeling him than Wallace. Why should a person just stop at what will make him comfortable? Why not be in a position to make his family comfortable and pass it down through the generations to make their lives better?

  • kevin

    Because Wallace has shown that he is not just a guy who can run the go-route. The evidence is there is you care to look at it. Check out the traditional stats. Check out the advanced stats. Check out KC Joyner’s breakdown of Wallace at every route depth level. The guy is an excellent player and not just a “one-trick pony”. If he gets a better deal with another team, so be it. I doubt the Steelers would have come out so often about the priority of signing Wallace if he could only run deep patterns.

  • kevin

    I hope so. That will make next year much easier if they don’t have to worry about two excellent free agent wide receivers, even if one is restricted.

  • NW86

    Good point about the way the Steelers negotiate.

  • kyle

    Wallace playing for 3.5 Million for just one year is impossible. If he plays for the Steelers for one more year then it means he’s playing for his Tender which is 2.7M. If he plays for more than that then it means he signed a long-term contract.

  • Mancoljdu11

    how does brown blcok better????????? In fact i think wallace is the blocking receiver they have on the team right now, that may sound crazy but just go to and go to scores and then go to week 13 2009 steelers vs raiders and you should see what i am referring to and you may not make an ignorant staemebt like that again

  • Chris92021

    If Brown has another 1,000/1,000 season and he signs the tender for 2013, then I will be a believer. Until then, I brace myself for a Brown holdout next summer.

    Also, don’t hate on Mike Wallace. He realizes he has a small window to make as much money as possible to take care of himself and his family. Are some of his demands laughable? Yes. However, if you asked for an outrageous sum of money and actually got it, would you say “nah, I was just kidding”? I doubt it. Fast Mike is gonna be with the Steelers and it’s in his best interest to play extremely well in 2012 because if he doesn’t, his value drops in the FA market. He knows this better than anyone.

  • Jprankster2005

    what the hell does that have to do with anything that was said…..

  • Fish

    I respectfully disagree. He is not good at setting up his blocks on the short routes and doesn’t have what some people call “wiggle”. He also goes down when tacklers graze him or don’t touch him at all. However he did look impressive on some of those same plays the other night on the Top 100, but those were the exception and not the rule. I like Mike but I’m just on the other side of the fence on this debate Kevin. The good thing is it’s a moot point because we’re going to have both of them for a long time, right Steelers!

  • Fish

    ManchoManchoMan – Yes it does sound crazy. That was one solid blindside block, even got two defenders, not many people in the league could do that when defenders aren’t looking, don’t think Antonio Brown could have made it. That said, what is ignorant though on your part is that the very next offensive highlight that it shows, which you so closely examined I might add, shows what Wallace typically does with head on blocks where HE CANNOT EVEN STAY ENGAGED WITH THE EFFIN RECEIVER who goes on to help with the tackle. Or how about the next clip that shows him getting absolutely thrown to the ground and please don’t mistake that for a low block. Thanks for the research sport! Got anymore 3 year old clips you can direct me to and prove my point? Seriously though thanks, I didn’t know all that stuff was available on

  • Mwormack

    Smart move by Brown here’s why, say Wallace holds out and does not play until late in the year. Brown would then be the number one WR going against possible double teams. His stats could take a hit, doing what he’s doing now entices the Steelers to give him a deal now and then worry about Wallace at the end of the season. Personally I think it is a pipe dream to have 10-12 million dollars a year with two wide recievers. If the steelers could sign brown to a four year 16 mil, I would say deal, give hime 8 mil guaranteed.

  • steelman

    He’ll probably be there, but I willing to bet my money that he won’t sign that tender.

    Also, its crazy to me how for the past 3 yrs, no one had all of these ‘he’s selfish’ or ‘he’s not THAT good’ statements. Now that he’s asking for his due, the statements are now, he can be replaced and AB is a better receiver. WOW!!!

    Bottom line is this, they both need each other. They both do things well to assist each other. No one here can tell me that AB didn’t benefit from Mike getting the coverage rolled to his side or that Mike didn’t benefit from people understanding that they have to watch out for AB.

    Let’s face it, fans are loyal to the organization and not the player. In our own selfishness, we feel like the player should be loyal to the organization and not worry because ‘you’ll get what you’re worth, when the time comes”. Why? so we can boast of a SB victory and say that our team is the best ever?

    It’s crazy what fans will say when they aren’t in that position and i’m willing to bet if you were, you’d probably want your due as well.

  • Wallace can run faster, and is better at getting behind the defense on deep routes. That’s where most of his TDs come from. Wallace also cannot handle double teams. Look at what happened in the last 9 games of last season when teams starting keying on him (no games over 100 and only 3 TDs). Or worse, the playoff debacle. If you want to know why the Steelers aren’t throwing money at him, look no further than that. Brown outplayed him in the last ten games (including the playyoffs). Yes, I am aware that Wallace being doubled opened up things for Brown, but Brown still needed to take advantage of that, and he did. Brown has better hands, especially in traffic. He is more shifty with the ball in his hands after the catch. He runs better routes, especially on the inside of the field, and blocks better. I don’t know about you, but that spells more well rounded to me.

  • Sanders and Cotchery are both better blockers than Wallace and Brown. One block does not a blocker make.

  • Wallace does well on short routes when he has the opening to turn on the speed. He is not overly shifty though.

  • You are paying too much attention to what is said, and not enough to what is done. People can ramble on about priorities all they want. The facts are that nobody was willing to give up a 1st for him. Nobody offered a decent pick for him before the draft, and the Steelers haven’t thrown money at him. Wallace is great at what he does, but he is not a well rounded WR like Fitz or CJ, and that is why he isn’t signed.

  • He can’t be there without signing the tender. IIRC, he has to be under contract to take part in the drills.

  • Mancoljduf11

    i dont think there is a clip anywhere that shows AB Blocking any better then that!!!!!

  • PoKey21

    Wallace, Brown, Sanders. Gota keep 2 out of the 3 on the team for atleast another 4-6 year deal apiece. Doesnt matter which 2, just gota get 2!