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Brown will Report to Camp Hopeful of New Deal

The NFL’s biggest bargain either doesn’t know how valuable he is, or he simply doesn’t care. Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown is coming off arguably the most productive two-season stretch for a pass catcher in NFL history, but he isn’t seeing dollar signs just yet. The stellar wideout has vowed he will report to Steelers training camp on Thursday confident that a revised contract will be considered before the start of the regular season.

With two years still remaining on his five-year, $42 million deal, Brown stands to earn a base salary of $6.25 million this season and $8.7 million next season, before becoming an unrestricted free agent by his thirtieth birthday.

But the Steelers have no intention of seeing Brown hit the open market, and some are suspecting the team will look at renewing the contract in the extremely near future. Brown has led the league in receptions the past two seasons, including a 136-catch season last year, good for 10 touchdowns, over 1,800 receiving yards and whispers of MVP consideration.

He was the most potent threat on Pittsburgh’s multi-dimensional offense, and was instrumental in helping the team win it’s first playoff game since losing Super Bowl XLV. However, a reckless hit by Vontaze Burfict late in the game took Brown out for the following week against Denver, and without him, the depleted Steelers succumbed to the eventual champs in a valiant effort.

Now healthy and ready to take his team deeper into the playoffs, Brown’s presence at training camp will be a welcome return to normalcy for a team trying to stave off a four-game suspension to running back Le’Veon Bell and a year-long sit-out for WR2 Martavis Bryant.

In the NFL, underperforming one’s contract is a surefire way to be out of a job fast. It’s only fair that vastly exceeding the terms of your deal – which Brown has done better than any football player in recent memory – should be grounds for earning your fair share of the team’s salary cap.

As it stands, AB is the 18th-highest paid wideout in the league. Above him on that list are the usual suspects like Demaryious Thomas and Dez Bryant, and some surprises like Vincent Jackson and Pierre Garcon. A.J. Green tops the list with his four-year, $60 million deal. That sure sounds like a reasonable figure for the game’s top receiver.

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