Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said the team has made it a priority to extend the contract of Antonio Brown as soon as possible and are already in negotiations with the two-time All-Pro receiver.
Brown has one year remaining on a five-year, $42 million deal and the Steelers have already had active discussions with his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, who was in Pittsburgh last week.
Colbert said Brown is the only player with whom the Steelers have had any discussion about a new deal.
“I can say unequivocally we want Antonio Brown to retire as a Steeler, just as we want Le’Veon Bell to retire as a Steeler,” Colbert said today in a pre-combine meeting with a handful of reporters.
Bell is an unrestricted free agent who will likely be receive a franchise tag that would pay him somewhere between $11 and $12 million for the 2017 season. The Steelers and Bell would have till July 15 to negotiate a long-term deal, if they choose to do that. Otherwise, Bell would play for one season for the average of the top five paid running backs from the 2016 season.
“We have no reservations about him, not his durability or ability,” Colbert said of Bell, who has served a league-mandated suspension each of the past two seasons in addition to having injuries that halted the end of each of the past three seasons. “There is no hesitation for us to have him, hopefully, his entire career.”
Alright. I’m going to call it right now. BULLSHIT.
As far as Steelers’ management is concerned, “The Steeler Way” is defined as getting rid of a player the moment one of the three scenarios below takes place:
- The players wants to renegotiate his contract to something that would be deemed fair value out on the open market.
- The player is getting older and his performance begins deteriorating.
- The player fucks up off the football field and is not named Ben Roethlisberger, James Harrison, or Le’Veon Bell.
Does Kevin Colbert honestly think we’re supposed to believe him here when this is the same guy that has been quick to let receivers like Santonio Holmes, Mike Wallace, and Emmanuel Sanders go in the primes of their careers? The Steelers will do what they’ve always done and let Antonio Brown slide out of the door next year at free agency. That’s the type of logic that totally makes more sense than paying a player who recently tied an NFL record for recording his 4th straight season of 100+ receptions and will likely break that record next season. Look, I get that Antonio Brown will be 29 years old next season and has played his entire career with a future Hall of Fame quarterback, but the reality is if the Steelers don’t get their wallets out, another team will. All I’m saying is as a long-time Steelers fan I’ve seen this same story unfold before, and the ending doesn’t turn out pretty. For Kevin Colbert to blatantly lie to our faces about this whole situation is utterly cruel.