Steelers WR Antonio Brown seeking new deal. Won't attend offseason workouts, mulling holdout from minicamp, training camp, sources say.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) April 20, 2015
Can confirm that Antonio Brown is not at first voluntary workout today and that he has approached Steelers about a new deal.— Scott Brown (@ScottBrown_ESPN) April 20, 2015
Per several league sources, the Pittsburgh Steelers might have a contract holdout brewing with Pro Bowl wide receiver Antonio Brown. As the team's first phase of voluntary offseason workouts started today, Brown was nowhere to be found, and could sit out the duration of these workouts, minicamp and possibly training camp to get a new deal done.
Brown is due $6 million dollars as a base salary in 2015, and a prorated amount of $3,787,500 making his cap hit for 2015 $9,787,500, per OverTheCap.com. Brown's contract is through the 2017 season before he would become a free agent.
The Steelers certainly don't to lose their star WR to free agency, but they also have Brown under contract through the 2017 season. Head coach Mike Tomlin has repeatedly made a strong stance on players under contract reporting for work, and it is likely the team will keep such a sentiment if Brown does indeed hold out for more than the voluntary offseason workouts.
The last time the Steelers experienced a holdout was with WR Mike Wallace, who wasn't happy with the one-year tender worth $2.7 million dollars the team had offered him, and wanted a long-term contract. Wallace eventually reported to camp with two weeks remaining, and it was the last season he spent in a Steelers uniform.
If the Steelers want to give Brown a new contract, it certainly would be warranted as he has lead the league in receptions the past two seasons, and shattered nearly every receiving record within the Steelers organization in 2014. When you thought it was safe to assume the days of holdouts were over, the Steelers - and their fans - might be in for a wild ride.