Player News - Steelers

Date: Team: Pos:

Steelers signed WR Antonio Brown to a four-year, $68 million extension through 2021.

Including a $19 million signing bonus, the extension will pay Brown $17 million annually and makes him the NFL's highest-paid wide receiver, passing A.J. Green's $15 million annual average. The top wideout of his generation -- and arguably the best we've seen since Randy Moss -- Brown has 100-plus catches in four straight years and double-digit touchdowns in three straight. Brown turns 29 in July. Because his game relies on route running and not elite athleticism, Brown should age well into his 30s.
Feb 27 - 5:25 PM

Steelers assigned the exclusive-rights franchise tag to RB Le'Veon Bell.

He joins Panthers DT Kawann Short and Cardinals OLB Chandler Jones as 2017's first three franchise-tag wearers. The "exclusive" tag locks Bell into a top-five running back salary ($12 million-plus) and prohibits other teams from negotiating with him. The Steelers plan to lock up Antonio Brown to a long-term deal and let Bell sport the tag, potentially for the entirety of the forthcoming season. Extending Bell isn't a priority after he battled foot and knee injuries his first three years in the league, and served two short suspensions. Still only 25 years old, Bell has averaged 4.88 yards per carry and 143.1 yards from scrimmage per game over the past two seasons. He's neck and neck with David Johnson as the top running back in football, and we'd give the slight edge to Bell.
Feb 27 - 3:54 PM

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports there has been "significant progress" on long-term contract talks between the Steelers and Antonio Brown.

The goal is to have a new long-term deal hammered out by March 9, the start of the new league year. Brown has one year left on his current deal and will probably become the league's highest-paid receiver on his next contract.
Feb 27 - 12:17 PM

The Steelers "really like" second-year OT Jerald Hawkins.

A 2016 fourth-round pick out of LSU, Hawkins "redshirted" his rookie year due to a torn labrum in his shoulder. Hawkins stands 6-foot-6, 305 with long arms. He could emerge as Pittsburgh's swing tackle as a sophomore.
Feb 22 - 8:13 PM

Free agent OLB James Harrison wants a two-year contract.

Harrison's agent opened talks with the Steelers this week. He's fully expected to return after grading as PFF's eighth-best 3-4 outside linebacker last season. Harrison deserves a raise on the two-year, $2.75 million deal he signed in 2015.
Source: ESPN
Feb 22 - 6:21 PM

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports free agent Le'Veon Bell hasn't scheduled offseason groin surgery.

As RapSheet notes, Bell very likely would have done so by now had he needed the operation. Just about two weeks ago, Bell was seeking a third opinion on his groin after one doctor suggested he needed surgery and another advised against it. The third was the likely tiebreaker. Bell probably won't do much at spring practices but should be fine well in advance of training camp. Expect the Steelers to use the franchise tag on Bell before the March 1 deadline.
Feb 22 - 2:39 PM

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette "wouldn't expect" the Steelers to re-sign free agent WR Markus Wheaton.

Wheaton missed a ton of time with a shoulder injury last season and required surgery to repair a torn labrum in early January. He ended up catching just four passes for 51 yards and one score across three games following somewhat productive 2014 and 2015 seasons. Wheaton turned 26 earlier this month. He'll likely have to settle for one-year, prove it-type offers in free agency.
Feb 21 - 8:16 PM

The Steelers are interested in re-signing impending free agent OLB James Harrison.

Apparently the feeling is mutual. Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, it's just "a matter of time" until the sides agree to a new contract. Going on 39, Harrison was a beast last season, grading out as PFF's eighth-best 3-4 outside linebacker.
Feb 21 - 2:07 PM

Steelers OLBs coach Joey Porter will plead guilty to a disorderly conduct citation on Tuesday.

Porter was originally charged with aggravated assault among other things following an incident with a bar bouncer and police officer in early January, but the serious charges were eventually dropped. The citation carries up to 90 days in jail, but it is unlikely Porter faces any time behind bars. He still could be looking at league discipline.
Feb 21 - 10:36 AM

Steelers GM Kevin Colbert indicated Ladarius Green (concussion) will be back with the team in 2017.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette wrote the same earlier this week. It makes sense for the Steelers to take a shot on Green, who was a difference-maker when on the field and would free up under $2.75 million of cap space if released. That said, he only managed six games his first year in Pittsburgh and still has not been cleared from a Week 15 concussion. Like last year, it will not be surprising if Green spends most of the offseason on the sidelines.
Feb 18 - 9:38 AM

DKPittsburghSports.com reports Ladarius Green is not currently in the NFL's concussion protocol, but has still yet to be cleared.

In other words, uncertainty continues to take the day. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette guessed Tuesday that Green would keep his roster spot, but Steelers president Art Rooney II was publicly noncommittal last month. Green's health has been one mystery after another since he signed a four-year, $20 million contract last March.
Feb 16 - 5:43 PM

The Steelers aren't counting on 2015 second-round CB Senquez Golson for 2017.

Recovering from a Lisfranc injury, Golson has missed 32-of-32 games as an NFLer. He's due a modest $615,000 in 2017, but the Steelers won't want to pay that if they believe Golson won't be able to stay on the field.
Feb 16 - 3:37 PM

Steelers GM Kevin Colbert isn't planning to urgently pursue Ben Roethlisberger's successor this offseason.

"Will we add a guy? Absolutely," Colbert said. "When? It’s hard to say. Sooner or later we will have to address that." In other words, the Steelers aren't taking Roethlisberger's retirement musings very seriously. Colbert did make clear the team wants free agent Landry Jones back as Big Ben's No. 2.
Feb 16 - 3:35 PM

Speaking Thursday, Steelers GM Kevin Colbert hedged on re-signing free agent ILB Lawrence Timmons.

"Would you like to have him stay? Absolutely," Colbert said. "(But) does it all fit? We can make it work, but at what cost?" You could say Colbert is lukewarm on retaining the 30-year-old, longtime Steeler. Timmons started all 16 games last season, but was somewhat of a liability as an every-down player. If he returns, it will be to reduced money and perhaps a reduced role.
Feb 16 - 3:31 PM

Speaking Thursday, Steelers GM Kevin Colbert confirmed he would like to re-sign No. 2 QB Landry Jones.

There was a Wednesday report that the Steelers view Jones as one of the NFL's top backups, so re-signing him appears it will be a priority. Colbert did say he isn't sure if the team needs to pursue Ben Roethlisberger's eventual successor yet. The Steelers clearly are not concerned about Ben's retirement musings.
Feb 16 - 2:50 PM


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