In April, when rumors and reports surfaced that Steelers star receiver Antonio Brown was contemplating skipping offseason voluntary workouts as a means to leverage a new contract from his bosses, I believed those rumors.
In-fact, two weeks ago, when the Cowboys Dez Bryant and the Broncos Demaryius Thomas each signed huge mega-extensions, the first thing that popped into my mind was Brown and the fact that he couldn't have been very happy with that.
Back to those April rumors. I still believe them to a degree. Stuff like that doesn't pop up out of nowhere, and there's no doubt Brown has thoroughly outperformed the $42 million contract extension he signed with Pittsburgh just prior to the 2012 season.
True or not, the thing about Antonio Brown is he just seems to "get it" when it comes to being a professional football player and the responsibilities and public relations that come with it. Maybe he did contemplate holding out earlier in the spring. Maybe he is secretly unhappy with his current deal and wants compensation worthy of his status as the league's most productive receiver over the past two seasons. However, as he told the media over the weekend: "Holdouts never go well. Just look at history. It always ends badly," Brown said on Saturday as the Steelers reported to training camp. "I make a lot of money. I pull up to camp in Rolls-Royces."
Specifically, a $500,000 black and gold-themed Rolls-Royce, like the one he reported to camp in over the weekend. What Brown does with his money is his business, but the fact that he "gets" that a lot of people will make it their business speaks volumes. Obviously, unless Brown makes it a habit of buying tricked out cars that are worth a half-a-million dollars, nobody is going to be holding any telethons for him in the very near-future. It doesn't take a ton of research to discover that the best years of Brown's contract kick in starting this season, and that he'll earn roughly $25 million over the remaining three years of his deal.
From a work-ethic standpoint, Brown certainly gets it, as his workouts and practice habits have become so legendary, it's almost redundant to cite them in any article about the highly-accomplished and decorated receiver.
There's no question Brown has become not just a leader of the wide-outs, but one of the leaders and faces of the Pittsburgh Steelers. And he's going to continue to work towards being the best at his craft and getting to and staying at the top of the mountain of NFL receivers.
Future compensation will come for Antonio Brown, and when it does, the extensions that Thomas (five-years, $70 million--$43.5 million guaranteed); and Bryant (five years, $70 million--$45 million guaranteed) signed two weeks ago might seem as dated as Brown's 2012 deal now and cause rumors that those two receivers are contemplating holdouts.
But don't expect any more rumors to surface regarding Antonio Brown possibly holding out. After all, he knows they never end well.
He just "gets it."