Steelers Lock up Antonio Brown, Still Unsure About Mike Wallace
The Pittsburgh Steelers have reportedly agreed to five year contract extension with wide receiver Antonio Brown. According to Adam Schefter and ESPN, the extension is reported to be worth $42.5 million. He was entering the final year of a three year contract.
This comes as somewhat of a surprise as the Steelers were thought to have all their focus on signing their speedster WR Mike Wallace. Wallace has not reported to training camp. The Steelers offered Wallace a franchise tender of $2.7 million and Wallace was displeased. Talks had been promising as of a few weeks ago but negotiations have ceased since Wallace has not reported to camp. The Steelers have stated that they will not negotiate until Wallace reports to camp. Reports are also being spread about the Steelers looking to unload Wallace in a trade.
With Antonio Brown now signed, the Steelers have locked up a top young WR as well as their top return man. Brown was selected to the Pro Bowl last season and was the first player in NFL history to record at least 1,000 yards receiving and 1,000 yards retuning. That is an impressive feat and maybe why the Steelers saw an opportunity and made it a priority.
With Brown just recently signing a new deal I can’t help but wonder what effect that might have on signing Wallace. The Steelers seem to be financially strained and may not have the money available to sign Wallace as well. The only way he stays a Steeler is if he reports to training camp and plays his last year under the franchise tender offered and then looks for a trade next year.
Things are certainly up in the air with Wallace and the Steelers. The Steelers may now be looking to trade Wallace if a deal can’t be reached. It seems like the Steelers insured themselves by signing Brown now. It’s looking like the Steelers made up their mind and will now try to get something in return for Wallace.
In terms of Antonio Brown, it’s a surprise for a deal to be done now but shows how much the Steelers value him. He was solid last season and has the ability to be even more effective this season. If Wallace holds out or is traded, look for Brown’s targets and value to rise, as well as the same for Emmanuel Sanders.
In terms of Wallace, this is disappointing. We were being teased the past few weeks that a deal was close. Now that he’s not at camp, things are a little more serious in terms of his value. Watch closely to see if a deal gets done or he’s possibly traded. If you are targeting Wallace you might want to target Brown in the meantime as a top WR2, as well as the emerging Emmanuel Sanders.