Contract Of Steelers WR Antonio Brown Still Expected To Be Restructured

In a Thursday post on the National Football Post by Joel Corry, he goes over 10 players that are expected to have their contracts restructured at some point during the offseason and it shouldn’t be surprising that Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown made the list.

“The Steelers have $140.1 million in 2014 cap obligations with only $1.35 million of unused 2013 cap room that can be carried over to the 2014 league year,” starts Corry, a former sports agent who helped found Premier Sports & Entertainment. $3,937,500 of cap space will be freed up if Brown drops his $6 million base salary to $750,000 where the rest is converted into a signing bonus. Brown restructured his contract last year by turning $3.85 million of his $4.5 million base salary into a signing bonus.”

If you have bee reading this site for a while, none of this should be a surprise to you because I have been calling for it to happen for some time. By restructuring Brown’s contract again and releasing tackle Levi Brown over the course of the next few weeks, the Steelers should be pretty close to being cap compliant if the Thursday news that the 2014 cap number will come in at around $130 million stands up.

Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert was asked Thursday at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine to comment on the rumored $130 million number.

“I think that is a welcomed rumor,” said Colbert with a smile, according to steelers.com. “We haven’t gotten any information on the cap, and I don’t anticipate us getting it until really close to March 11. So whether it goes up or not, we have to prepare for the worst and see where it lands.

“You don’t want to have a false hope that it’s going to be ($130 million) and then it’s not. So, we still have to prepare off what we were working with last year, and then maybe add to it. Again, those numbers (like $130 million) start floating around, but they haven’t been substantiated.”

Brown might not be the only Steelers player to have his contract restructured as there’s a possibility that linebacker Lawrence Timmons could have his redone again as well. As I have pointed out several times in previous cap related posts, restructuring Timmons can clear another $3.93 million in cap space, should the Steelers decide to go that route. If the $130 million projected cap number stands up, however, Timmons contract might could be left alone depending on the up coming contract terminations and extensions.

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • J-DUB

    I would throw Woodley in there to get restructured, if he doesn’t get cut.

  • dkoy85

    I’m anxious to see which routes they decide to go to free up some wiggle room. If the $130mil holds up it will be an interesting offseason.

  • SteelersDepot

    Restructured and reduction are two different things. In a restructure, a player does not lose money.

  • shawn

    This is even BETTER news … the fact that the 130mil is not a done deal, they still have to make some drastic cuts, pay cuts and changes/extensions as if the cap was still the same … hopefully this will give us even a bigger boost once the new larger cap number comes in … not sure what time frame we looking at with the cuts/ pay cuts … would it be before mid march … anyone know ?

  • shawn

    ok i guess March 11 is when Top 51 begins

  • SteelersDepot

    Rule of 51 kicks in on March 11th, the start of the new league year

  • Eddy

    Didn’t the Steelers “borrow” 3 million dollars against the cap in 2012?

    Any idea when we’ll have to pay that money back?

  • shawn

    i think this gives them a realistic shot at picking up a good FA … is 2006 (Clark) really our last good pick up ?? Not counting Adams from Dallas that performed well as it was just one year

  • Jacob Dixon

    Antonio Brown played too good to deserve a restructured contract

  • SteelersDepot

    Restructured is not a reduction. He is having a good portion of his base salary turned into a signing bonus. That’s all that it is. He is not losing money. It’s a mechanism to lower his cap hit this year by pushing off accounting to future years.

  • Aric Brown

    Flozell the hotel… id forgot about him

  • JT

    Really? Does Jericho Cotchery ring any bells? Will Allen also was a pretty decent pickup.

  • Luke Shabro

    If Woodley were to take a reduction which I highly doubt, would it lower his cap number at all?

  • Aric Brown

    Larry Foote

  • shawn

    i think he was an underrated pick up … performed very admirably

  • shawn

    yessss Jericho … knew i was missing someone … will allen ehhhh i guess decent depth but not somebody i think really improved our team

  • shawn

    do we really count larry foote … he was already a steeler

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    I would like to take a moment to recognize Dave Bryan’s excellent work in following the Steelers cap situation throughout the years. Various sites have their own strengths and weaknesses but I have yet to find anyone who updates us fans on Steelers cap ramifications as well as Dave. Thank you sir.

  • WIINGY

    Brown is obviously the best candidate for a restructure. Not sure if it’s the right thing to do, depends on how they spend it.

  • JAMESH

    I wish we could have gotten a SB ring for Flozell after all his years without one as a Cowboy.

  • JAMESH

    Except for the immediate tax hit, it is to a player’s advantage to have his contract restructured. He is getting his money up front as a signing bonus.

  • JAMESH

    Here Here !!! (Or is it Hear Hear?) In any case, I second the motion.

  • dgh57

    I think a reduction is the same as a cut in pay so yes it would lower his cap hit.

  • bradblackandgold

    1. It is my understanding that most player are eager to restructure because it take the money they are supposed to make that year and converts the vast majority of it into a “signing bonus.” Assuming the number I looked up is correct, Brown is scheduled to make 8,470,000 this year. If they restructure him to 750k, that means the day he agrees to that, the team cuts him a check for 7,720,00 and his base salary is paid out per game. If he didn’t restructure his compensation would be spread out over 16 weeks. He gets the same money, he just gets it now.

    2. I’m no Khan, but to me the Steelers are not in that bad of a situation in terms of the cap. I’m curious where Corry gets his carryover numbers from last year’s cap because ESPN has the number at 5,334,005. Like I said, I’m not an expert, but here’s my understanding of what goes into the cap:

    The number the NFL gives as the cap (potentially 130 million, if not 126 million)

    Subtract from that the salary of the highest paid 51 players on the team

    Subtract from that any dead money

    Add to this the carryover from last year (any amount the team didn’t spend from last year’s cap).

    For the Steelers this means

    126,000,000 – 135,472,583 – 4,552,933 + 5,334,005

    -8,691,511 meaning we are currently over by 8.7 million.

    3. Potential solutions

    Step 1. Cut Levi Brown, frees up 6,250,000 with no dead money.

    Step 2. Restructure contracts. I’m too conservative on how much I restructure, but I’d say, restructure Woodley’s cap hit to 8,256,667, Timmons to 7,316,250, Brown to 3,970,0000. Those 3 moves would reduce our cap number by 14,333,333

    Step 3. Ask Ike Taylor to take a pay cut to a base pay of 4,000,000 (I’d want it to be lower, I just don’t see him going any lower) and Troy to take a pay cut to 5,000,000 (I’m not sure he’ll agree to any pay cut. These two moves save 6,250,000

    With those 3 steps there is a cap reduction of 6,250,000 + 14,333,333 + 6,250,000 for a total of 26,833,333
    So now our cap situation is
    126,000,000 – 135,472,583 – 4,552,933 + 5,334,005 + 26,833,333

    18,141,822 That is how much we would be under the cap. We have our own free agents to sign and draft picks to sign, but if a fan like me can get us to here, imagine what the cap specialists working for the Steelers can do.

  • shawn

    i can’t see him doing that … but gosh that would be nice !

  • shawn

    very interesting indeed … i really want to see if the front office has the cajones to do what needs to be done .. i really doubted but i think they will take some half measures … boy i hate half measures … all the way or nothing !

  • shawn

    why does the Cap so seemingly follow our tax code … couldn’t they come up with something a little more straightforward and simple .. maybe someday … i can’t figure either one out and who would actually want to spend the time to painfully do so !

  • shawn

    i like the 3 steps …and those pay cuts for ike and troy are more than realistic … would hope for much more !

  • Dan

    I wish we would just stop with all this restructuring. We’ll never be in a good cap situation if we keep this up.

  • Dan

    It should be noted that players actually gain money during most restructures. Six million dollars today is worth more than six million dollars paid next year, plus once you cash the check it’s yours, while often next year’s check may never come. Player: “I just want to do what ever I can to help the team. If that means reworking my deal, I’m willing to do it.” Yeah, yeah, yeah, how about taking a $5.9 bonus instead of $6 of salary next year.

  • Nolrog

    Ryan Clark, James Farrior. Willie Gay was a good pickup this year; he played well. Velasco did as well.

  • Nolrog

    I do not think it means what you think it means. It’s nothing more than an accounting trick. The player loses nothing. They give him a lump sum check (3.85 million in Brown’s case) immediately and then that allows them to account for the money over the course of a few years.

  • Nolrog

    Players make so much money that they are already in a high tax bracket.Even though he would walk away with a lump sum check instead of getting that money over the course of 17 weeks, Brown’s tax hit wouldn’t change (it’s all income in the eyes of the IRS, earned in 2014). He’d still be on the hook for taxes on 4.5 million dollars.

  • Nolrog

    The constant restructure of Woodley (and other guys) is what has put us in the cap position of the last few years. THey need to do only what is absolutely necessary. As for Woodley’s case, they should release him (post June-1) instead of restructuring him and bring back Worilds.

  • Nolrog

    Eventually we’ll take the hit (probably when Ben retires.) Clearing out some older guys (Smith, Harrison, etc.) has helped the situation out considerably.

  • steeltown

    Yes, but we’ve gone from restructuring 5-6 guys a year to maybe restructuring 2… and we now have the flexibility to only restructure the two guys that have actually lived up to their contracts and have been dependable

  • Nolrog

    We need to get to the point where we have the flexibility not to restructure anyone at all. They have been working towards that the last few years and we’re making really good progress on that.

  • Alan Felicia

    I don’t think it has anything to do with cajones. If you’re a long time fan, you know its more about money and the front office’s standard practice. If you’re old enough to remember the previous GM, Tom Donahoe, they brought in quality FAs (Kevin Greene, Will Wilford, Erric Pegram, etc.) for the right money.

  • shawn

    i was thinking more in the line of demanding pay cuts from ike and troy in regards to the front office … with FAs I understand how they are and their philosophy so I’m not holding out high expectations … but i really do hope they hold a hard line with some of the older guys that still have unwarranted paydays ahead

  • SteelersDepot

    the signing bonus are not in one check as they are paid out over the season as well. Also, look for Troy to actually get extended. He’s not taking a pay cut. They in no way will restructure Woodley’s contract. Three options with him. Stays at current number. Takes a reduction. June 1st cut.

  • Alan Felicia

    I totally agree. Ike is an easy decision, only bring back at a pay cut. Same with Woodley. Keep Worilds at the right price which means not paying him anything higher than $6M per year. So long Keisel. I’m in the minority on Troy as I truly believe he can still play at a high level for another 2-3 years.

  • dkoy85

    I think he means outside FA’s. Free agents drafted by other teams.

  • shawn

    i like troy for another 2-3 yrs if he stays healthy as well, but we need him at a reduced price, which i think he would do to end his career in Pitt … plus he knows the value the steelers bring and he wants to win so he understands the cap consequences … i like Worilds at 6M/ yr … i actually think thats generous, we could have had him for a lot less if they gambled earlier … but now that he had a good half season and for some strange reason would be worth more on the open market … do u think he would accept 6 mil .. i have my doubts as i think teams out there would throw big money 8-9 mil a year at him which his play does not warrant … i saw him listed as the 10th best FA this year which i think is crazy considering we thought he might be a career back up at the beginning of the year ??? just weird

  • dkoy85

    I feel the same way about polamalu. He has at least a couple good years left but as long as Shark plays well I think this is Polamalus last year… could be wrong. I hope Spence makes it back to we can keep Polamalu doing what hes best at.

  • Alan Felicia

    As long as Polamalu plays the way he did last year in the next 2 years, no way Thomas plays over him. Not a chance. As far as Spence, if he makes it all the way back, good for him and Pittsburgh. He’s an after thought at this point.

  • Aric Brown

    I do… but just because he was coming back with lowered expectations and IMO played very well and exceeded the expectations majority of us had for him

  • Alan Felicia

    You and I are in the same boat with Worilds. I suspect that he will test the market especially making that ridiculous comments regarding being a guaranteed starter if he comes back to Pittsburgh. Totally weird b/c he should know by now that if Pittsburgh gives a significant raise, they expect the player to not only start but perform!
    It will be interesting to see what other teams offer Worilds after 1 good season.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Of course this is good news, but as someone said, this should leave only Pittsburgh and Dallas actually over the cap. Imagine how it will help the other teams.

  • ATL96STEELER

    If Troy doesn’t take a cut I would have to let him go…restructure make no sense imo…he’s not even a $5 mil player a yr anymore and I don’t see how they will be able to get his cap hit down lower than that over 2 yrs…unless they just want to give the HOF player a parting retirement gift like the did A. Smith.

  • JAMESH

    I never said his tax hit would change. I simply said it would be immediate.

  • WIINGY

    Pay Ike Taylor 4 million? He gave up 73 receptions for over 1000 yards last year. Worst in the NFL.

    Get real.

  • WIINGY

    I agree, I love Troy, but $8.25 million? Not a chance he gets that on the open market.

  • WIINGY

    Actually, the Steelers will be way under the cap in 2015, but as of now they only have 24 players under contract. They can definitely restructure Brown and maybe Timmons, but it makes no sense to do it if you are keeping Ike, and Woodley, and not signing a real FA to improve the team. There is no point in restructuring these players if they are going to trot the same 8-8 team out there.