The Pittsburgh Steelers are a unique organization. They are one of the few who stick by the word, with very little exception to the rules they lay wide out in the open for the public to understand.
When the Steelers only extend their head coach's contract with two years left on his current deal, that is when they negotiate a new contract. When the Steelers say they don't negotiate contracts with players during the season, they sign contracts in airports before the team travels to their first destination -- this happened to Troy Polamalu -- but never once the season has officially started. And when they say they don't negotiate contracts with non-quarterback players with multiple years left on their current contract, you can believe they stand by their word.
General Manager Kevin Colbert reiterated this fact when speaking with Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk when asked about the possibility of Antonio Brown getting a new contract heading into 2016. After all, if there is a non-QB to get an exception to one of those rules, it would be Brown...right?
"He does have two years left," Colbert said. "We expect that to be honored without any issue.
"Again, Antonio's a unique player. We understand that. He understands our policies. I don't ever see that changing, as long as we still have the mindset that it's been good for the organization. He's a special player, and we're just glad we have him for two more years anyway."
Well then. Despite the chatter and conversation surrounding Brown's new contract easing the team's salary cap situation and locking up the best wide out in the NFL for the rest of his career will have to be put on hold...at least for another year.
Although Brown might not be getting a new contract prior to the 2016 season, one player who should be getting a new deal is running back Le'Veon Bell. Colbert spoke about Bell's progress through his knee rehabilitation and his overall readiness for the upcoming season.
"His body will tell us when he's ready," Colbert said. "All signs are indicating that he should be fine, 100 percent, once we get to the regular season, but we're not going to rush it. We'll let his body dictate that. We're happy where he is right now."
Bell is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and coming off back-to-back seasons where knee injuries saw him miss the team's postseason run. Getting Bell back on the field will do more than help his case on getting a new contract, but also helping the team's offense be one of the most prolific in the NFL in 2016, and beyond.
As the Steelers offseason drags on, contracts will certainly be discussed from top to bottom, but it seems as if Brown's new contract will be on the bottom of the priority list for another year.