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Steelers ink Antonio Brown to long-term deal

Antonio Brown

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown talks with reprters as he arrives for NFL football training camp at the team training facility in Latrobe, Pa. on Wednesday, July 25, 2012 . (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)


The good news is that a Steelers receiver has gotten a new contract. The bad news is that his name isn’t Mike Wallace.

Per a league source, the Steelers have signed receiver Antonio Brown to a five-year, $42.5 million extension.

Brown, a sixth-round draft pick in 2010, was the team’s MVP in 2011.

Signed under the old CBA, Brown was eligible for a new contract after two seasons. Players drafted in 2011 and beyond must play three years before doing new deals.

The contract helps the Steelers avoid in 2013 another Mike Wallace-style standoff. Since both players signed three-year contracts, each player was eligible for restricted free agency.

Brown gets a signing bonus of $8.5 million plus a base salary of $540,000 in 2012. In 2013, he receives a $2.5 million roster bonus and a $2 million base salary.

In 2014, the salary increases to $6 million. It stays at $6 million in 2015 before increasing to $8.25 million in 2016. Finally, he receives $8.71 million in 2017.

It remains to be seen whether this will make the Steelers more likely or less likely to do a deal with Wallace, who is scheduled to earn $2.7 million in 2012. It’s possible that the Steelers, exasperated by the negotiations with Wallace, offered to Brown the deal that had been on the table for Wallace.