Most fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers were ecstatic Monday evening when news broke of the team’s new contract with wide receiver Antonio Brown, but as we all waited for the details of the contract to be released, fans had some questions.
“How much cap space to the Steelers have left after this deal?”
“Brown is awesome, but is he worth all that money?”
“What was the signing bonus for this new deal?”
“Could the Steelers have used this money elsewhere to better the team?”
Some of these question are rhetorical, while others are much more black and white. Nonetheless, we will answer some of those with the details of Brown’s new contract, which was broken by ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio who had a source close to the contract itself.
1. Signing bonus: $19 million.
2. 2017 salary: $910,000.
3. 2018 roster bonus: $6 million due on the fifth day of the league year.
4. 2018 salary: $7.875 million.
5. 2019 roster bonus: $2.5 million due on the fifth day of the league year.
6. 2019 salary: $12.625 million.
7. 2020 salary: $11.3 million.
8. 2021 salary: $12.5 million.
Brown will have $29 million in new money through 2018, $44.2 million through 2019, and $55.5 million through 2020. The practical guarantee at signing is $19.910 million, along with either $13.875 million more in 2018 (total of $33.875 through two years) or a quick path to the open market if they choose not to pick up his roster bonus next year. He’ll add another $15.125 in 2019 — or he’ll get an early trip to the market if the Steelers opt not to pay the $2.5 million roster bonus.
The cap numbers generated by the new deal are $4.710 million in 2017, $17.675 million in 2018, $18.925 million in 2019, $15.1 million in 2020, and $15.8 million in 2021. Coupled with prior prorations, Brown’s total cap number for 2017 remains at $13.618 million.
There are a lot of numbers there, but the fact of the matter remains the team has made a commitment to Brown, and although they can always restructure his contract to help alleviate salary cap space, with the ever-growing NFL salary cap, the team could withstand the brunt of his contract, without kicking the can down the road, before picking it up.