Saturday, July 28, 2012

Steelers Extend Antonio Brown

I've said it before, and now I'm 100% certain I'll say it again.

All Antonio Brown does is make big plays.

And now, just 2 short years after being drafted, the Steelers have signed Brown to a 5-year extension of his rookie contract for a total of a 6-year deal. All told, the deal is worth $42.5 million with an $8.5 million signing bonus. This is a brilliant deal all around. On average, the deal is worth about $7 million per year but the low signing bonus (a little over $1 million per year pro-rated) means that if the Steelers find themselves with cap issues in the future they can easily convert some of the salary money to guaranteed money. Steelers Depot has a really good breakdown of the salary numbers and cap situation.

Some may say that Brown only had one good year in the NFL so far, and while that may be true, look at just what he did. He was the first player in NFL history to have 1,000 receiving and 1,000 return yards in the same season. It's likely Brown won't be used much as a returner this year to protect him from taking as many big hits, but he did more than just that.

Brown led the team with 28 receptions on 3rd down. The next closest were Mike Wallace and Heath Miller who both had 13. On top of that, Brown converted 25 of those 28 catches into first downs (Wallace converted 9 and Miller converted 12). The 3 times Brown came up short were on 3rd and 29, 3rd and 18, and 3rd and 10. Half of Brown's 3rd down catches were with 9 or more yards to go, which means he converted 11 of 14 catches into first downs on 3rd and 9+ (and all 14 catches on 3rd and 8 or less).

All Antonio Brown does is make big plays.


There were some really telling quotes from Brown's agent Drew Rosenhaus in this Post-Gazette article. Rosenhaus has a reputation amongst fans as being one of the toughest agents to deal with (stemming from his involvement in the TO debacle and his shameless over-valuing of his clients. But check this quote out:
"When you're dealing with Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert and Omar Khan and Art Rooney, you know there's a good chance to get something done. They really go about their business the right way. Everything worked to perfection." - Drew Rosenhaus
This tells you a lot because Rosenhaus has been known for gaming the system for all it's worth for his clients, but when both sides have a common goal in mind and sit down at the table, it's usually not difficult to get a deal done.

This is a great move by the Steelers and might be the most telling thing to happen so far with regards to the Mike Wallace situation. By no means does this mean that the Steelers will not still try to work something out with Wallace, but it is a clear message that the Steelers are prepared to move forward with or without #17 on the roster. The ball is in Wallace's court.

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