Antonio Brown Admits Awkwardness Existed With Mike Wallace Last Season

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace was absent for all of training camp last year due to his unhappiness with his contract situation. During his time away from the team the Steelers gave fellow wide receiver Antonio Brown an extension that included an 8.5 million signing bonus.

Brown was asked last Wednesday on 98.7 ESPN Radio New York if there was any awkwardness between he and Wallace in the locker room last season because he was the receiver that received the new contract.

“Some bit of awkwardness,” said Brown. “You know, a guy who had been there longer than I and definitely wanting a deal, but you gotta not dwell on that and that kind of situation prohibits bad blood to a team where guys are there for themselves, and not buy into the team aspects and could definitely cause a drama within a team.”

It is not surprising that there might have been some awkwardness between the two.  How could there not be? Wallace made his decision early on and the Steelers had to move on with their business. They locked up Brown, who was entering the final year of his rookie contract, at a great price and Wallace finally succumbed to signing his $2.742 million restricted tender with the hopes of hitting the market this offseason as an unrestricted free agent.

Wallace is now just a few weeks away now from the start of the free agency signing period and he figures to get a lot more guaranteed money than he would have received from the Steelers. The Miami Dolphins are rumored to be a team that is very interested in his services so the Steelers former third-round draft pick will likely be able to afford to pay someone very soon to be awkward for him.

You can listen to the full audio of the Brown interview below Ryan Ruocco and Stephen A. Smith


  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    It remains to be seen how good the price was for Brown. I like him a lot, but they paid a fair amount for a guy that was under contract for a nominal amount and 2 years away from being unrestricted.

  • zyzak

    Overpaid by a mile, this clown needs a lesson in humility

  • steeltown

    1st player in NFL history with 1,000yds receiving and 1,000yds returning in a single season, his jersey is in the Hall of Fame and he’s not even 25yrs old, that along with his work ethic and drive earned him a long term contract

  • TJimmy

    Wallace better hope signs with a team who has a good qb

  • SteelersDepot

    Ridiculousness statement. $8.5 million amortized over 6 years is a mere $1.412 million yearly in cap liability outside of the salaries. Easy to get out from underneath of after 2014 if they need to, which I doubt they will need to do.

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    Why is his cap charge $6.2M on the 2013 Steelers Salary Cap page? Shouldn’t his 2013 charge be $2M + 1.412M?

  • Kusko_Ken

    No Sh*t AB? I put some of this on the FO. They were pissed that Wallace wouldn’t sign the deal they offered and I really think Colbert and Co let their emotions get the best of them in this case. i remember thinking when ABs deal was announced that it was more of a big FU to Wallace than anything else. I understand that they had $ allocated for Wallace and it makes sense to get one of the WR in a long term contract but the AB deal was really out of character for the Steelers. The fracture that Ryan Clark speaks of started when ABs deal was announced. Business is business but i think about half of the locker room felt that AB got Wallaces $.

  • zyzak

    His jersey in the HOF? right, where was his work etic after he got paid?

  • zyzak

    He will Tannehill in Miami

  • SteelersDepot

    he has a roster bonus due that will be converted to a signing bonus any day now

  • Busforever

    hopefully his bad season has a lot to do with this awkwardness in the locker room. Now AB will be clearly the WR1. He’s young, too young to talk as a leader, and maybe he just wasn’t mature enough, not able to focus in a divided team. But he has good work ethic and has been a very good team guy the previous years. The only thing that concerns me is when I remember AB fighting with Ryan Clark at training camp (2 times I think). I just hope he didn’t become arrogant with his big contract.

  • Bradys_Dad

    $2.742 Mil last year. How much is that Per Drop ? I’d happily drop passes and carry an unearned chip on my shoulder for that kind of scratch. The ballpark real median household income for a family of 4 in Pittsburgh is $50K. I do not begrudge any player who gets it while the getting is good. God bless ya. I do take exception to those who feel and act as if they are entitled however. Remind me why we should feel bad for this guy leaving town to millions elsewhere?

  • His Jersey IS in the HOF for his accomplishment. reading comprehension is important. It’s also pretty tough to question work ethic as the source of any of his issues, since there is not one indication that it was ever in question. In fact, exactly the opposite is true…

  • I think he said good QB…

  • He did get Wallace’s money, most reports lead to the conclusion that he got almost exactly the contract that Wallace was offered. But so what? Wallace turned it down, he has no right to be pissed if they take their money elsewhere.

  • Chris92021

    And in other news, water is wet….

    Of course there was awkwardness. AB played hard and did a lot as returner and receiver, earning himself a new contract. Mike Wallace can do one thing really well: run fast. He’s Ted Ginn Jr. with better hands. I wish Mike well as long as it’s not against the Steelers.

  • Clint Martin

    His jersey is in the Hall genius.

  • Clint Martin

    You are an idiot by a mile.

  • Clint Martin

    Here is the bottom line Steelers offered Wallace a great contract for what he is worth he declined Steelers then moved on to the next talent at the position.
    Steelers made the right choice. Wallace is not that special!!
    Antonio can speak his mind just like we are all doing right now he just has a bigger stage.

  • JohnnyV1

    I highly doubt the Steelers would invest that heavily into Antonio Brown out of spite, that’s not how successful businesses work and sustain long-term success. The Steelers offered up to their maximum and Wallace wanted more, so they moved on knowing that they would lose Wallace this year, they locked up Antonio Brown who, from all reports, wakes up wanted to be a better receiver.

    Wallace will get his big contract, the Steelers will get a 3rd round pick in 2014 draft and the matter is closed. It would have been nice to see Wallace & Brown stay, but there just isn’t room.

  • I like Mike’s speed but little else about him. I think the Steelers signed the right guy in Brown. To me, he is a more complete WR. The contract did not break the bank and he can do more than Wallace. If they decide to bring in Breaston and add a young Speedster in the draft that can catch with his hands, they will be fine.

  • You are a clown zyzak you’re a troll that has no knowledge about the game, thanks for the laugh though

  • Clint Martin

    I totally agree with this statement!

  • LouPGH

    To everyone (mostly in the FB comments) complaining about AB weighing-in on issues, please give it a rest.

    Even with the Combine, we’re in the middle of the NFL coverage equivalent of the Arctic tundra. That is to say, news is slow. AB gets asked asinine questions and he answers them. As another commenter noted, “and water is wet.” Wallace is as good as gone, so why would AB lie about it now? You didn’t hear him making these comments during the season.

    Yes, his play was down, but the same could be said about the entire team with maybe the exception of Heath, Timmons, and possibly one or two other guys.