Rapoport: Steelers, Antonio Brown Making “Significant Progress” On Long-Term Deal

Some good news to get you through this Monday. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport sent out a tweet earlier this afternoon reporting the Pittsburgh Steelers and Antonio Brown are close to a long-term deal.

As Rapoport says, the apparent goal is to reach a deal before the start of free agency, next Thursday, March 9th. Brown is entering the final year of his deal. A framework of the deal hasn’t been announced yet but it’s expected that Brown will become the highest paid receiver in the league, making at least $15 million annually. He’ll surpass A.J. Green into that top spot.

Per Brown’s snapchat last week, the Rosenhaus brothers were in town to began negotiations. Though they are notoriously difficult to deal with, the fact Brown’s value is widely understood and his cooperation over the past year, not holding out or making much of a fuss over not getting a deal, is clearly speeding up the process and reducing the tension in the room.

It should be an eventful week-and-a-half with Le’Veon Bell’s franchise tag, Brown’s contract, the Combine, and oh yeah, the start of free agency. Buckle up.

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • WreckIess

    Ahhh damnit. I think I said they’d get it done this Friday on one of those Friday Night five questions things. About a week off.

  • Sam Clonch

    I’m sure there will be some haters on here claiming this is a “sign and trade” scenario.

  • WilliamSekinger

    Can’t be. The talking heads said on the interwebs AB would be traded, and I believe everything said on the interwebs!

    Edit: BTW Leveon Bell needs Jay Ajayi money! get it done front office! 🙂

  • CP72

    Hurry up and get it done. People are saying Kenny Stills might get 12 million per in the free agency market….12 million for Kenny frickin’ Stills.

  • Sam Clonch

    Someone be sure to let ole’ Mike Florio down in Florida know that he was wrong. Not that that will surprise him much or anything.

  • Craig M

    What’s holding it up, performance clauses on character/ penalties on the playing field?

  • TroymanianDevil

    I feel like “significant progress” has been happening for about 3 weeks.

  • TroymanianDevil

    This is why I said they should’ve done it last year, before so many of these WR mega deals got done. Julio Jones at 14.25m/yr looks like a bargain at this point. The cost of keeping the “precedence” of not signing someone until 1 yr left, looks to be about .75mil/y – 1.5mil/y or 3-6m over the life of the contract so I hope it’s worth it for the front office

  • WreckIess

    Specifics in the numbers, there’s no rush to get it done, they aren’t negotiating everyday, and the fact that Rosenhaus has other clients.

  • Alex Kozora

    Nah, just general structure of the deal. Nothing to be worried about.

  • Sam Clonch

    I don’t think the elevated value for the mid-tier guys had any real impact on the top end guys. No one jumped AJ Green last year. The suggested contracts last season had AB getting around $15 mill/per also. Saw one of the writers work up a suggested structure that actually only raises his 2017 cap hit by less than $3 mill, and still gives him a 5 year/ $75 mill extension.

    Will still have a lot of money to do deals with Bell/Tuitt/AV/James etc.

  • Craig M

    I was just being sarcastic- my bad!

  • WreckIess

    Gotcha. I was just listing reasons. lol

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    RONALD!!!

  • PaeperCup

    Just give him $12,000,001…boom done deal.

  • The Truth

    I thought it was already done.

  • Alex Kozora

    I was being vague. The general structure is there but it takes time to go through the particulars. How the money will be paid out, agreeing on bonuses, all the details.

  • steelburg

    I think there is a rush to get it done. You typically want your big domino to fall before you do anything else, so you know what kind of money you have left over. Just like the article mentioned above having it done be March 9 is the goal so if they want to seriously look at signing some outside guys or even resigning some of our own guys they will have a better idea of how much cash is left over when that deal is done.

  • popsiclesticks

    I couldn’t believe that when I read it on PFT and I still don’t think he’ll get anywhere near that, but your point remains.

  • TroymanianDevil

    They do have money so that’s good but you missed the point.

    They could’ve easily extended Brown before AJ Green signed his deal. That was my point. At that time, the highest contract was Julio Jones at 14.25mil/yr. They probably could’ve gotten the deal done at that price in exchange for doing the deal a year early. He still would’ve been the highest paid WR and they would’ve saved 3-6 mil ( depending on his final contract) for making an exception on when they do their extensions. That’s the big thing they maintained. The “precedence” of when they do extensions. Important for sure but I would’ve made an exception for AB. The contract you’re referring to was after AJ Green signed his deal. And again that’s my point, every big contract sets a new bar. And sure, mid level guys don’t directly impact AB’s deal but it raises the floor. Overall point is that the bar only gets raised, never lowered, so doing deals once you’re sure on the guy himself is the key imo. And we knew what AB was last year, no reason to make him play another season and prove himself like with Bell.

  • Kevin78

    Unfortunately, there are too many people who don’t understand why sign and trades don’t work in the NFL like they do in the NBA.

  • Brendon Glad

    GOOD! Glad to know all that junk about AB being on the outs in Pittsburgh appears to be false. He’s one of the very very very very least of the problems. (And I don’t even like using the word “problem” with him because that’s disrespectful to all he brings to the table).
    I hope these “whispers” were similar to the: “Steelers might trade Ben to Rams for first pick in draft (summer of Georgia scandal)” whispers.

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  • The Truth

    I wasn’t referring to your article. I thought I read/heard it on ESPN(or somewhere) that he signed.

    On to Bell, Tuitt and Shazier…