The Pittsburgh Steelers aren’t about to let the AFC’s best receiver get away.
General manager Kevin Colbert told reporters Thursday that the organization has made it a priority to give Antonio Brown a contract extension as soon as possible, revealing the Steelers are already in negotiations with the star wideout, per Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Noting that the team engaged in active discussions last week with Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, Colbert emphasized: “I can say unequivocally we want Antonio Brown to retire as a Steeler, just as we want (running back) Le’Veon Bell to retire as a Steeler.”
Brown was predictably dazzling this past season, finishing second in the NFL with 106 catches for 1,284 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Still, the pass-catcher publicly agitated Mike Tomlin by live-streaming the coach’s postgame speech after the team’s playoff win over the Dolphins. In the wake of that incident, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that “Brown’s antics are wearing thin on some of his teammates and certainly his coaches.”
Due $8.71 million next season in the final year of his contract, Brown — “antics” aside — was always a no-brainer candidate for a massive contract extension. Look for that to happen sooner than later in Pittsburgh.
Here’s what else we learned from Colbert:
1. As noted, the general manager made it clear that Bell would not escape to another team on the open market, saying: “We have no reservations about him … There is no hesitation for us to have him, hopefully, his entire career.”
2. Colbert also stated that Pittsburgh would like to re-sign backup quarterback Landry Jones and keep him “in the mix.” That isn’t to say that the Steelers see Jones as an heir to Ben Roethlisberger — not yet, at least — with Colbert acknowledging that “sooner or later we will have to address that.”
3. Apparently everyone in Pittsburgh is about to get paid, as Colbert stated that impending free-agent linebacker Lawrence Timmons is another player he’d “love to see … finish his career” with the Steelers, per Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.