- Take it from someone who managed an NFL salary cap for a decade: The prospect of Pittsburgh eating $21 million in dead cap money—for a player who’s still mightily productive—makes no sense.
Let’s cut through the noise to the reality of the business of football: Antonio Brown is not going anywhere. I know the narrative: He’s worn out his welcome in Pittsburgh, problems with teammates, coaches, blah, blah, blah. However, this is one of those situations where the Steelers have made their bed with Brown’s heavily bonused contract. Brown is uncuttable and untradeable. He would cost the Steelers more than $21 million on their cap if he is not on the team, only $1 million less that he would cost if he were on the team.
Fantasy general managers have all kinds of theories to make this work: The Steelers could save Brown’s future non-guaranteed cash going forward and basically have a wash cap-wise this year. Please. The Steelers are not going to carry a cap charge of $21 million for a player no longer on their roster, especially a highly productive one. Period. It would not only weaken them on the field, but also weaken them off the field, no matter how many contract restructures they do with Ben Roethlisberger. And, despite recent drama with Brown and Le’Veon Bell, the Steelers are normally shrewd with business decisions.
I know many will be ready to pounce if somehow Brown is traded or released. It says here, coming from someone who managed an NFL salary cap for a decade, that it’s simply not happening.
Sorry, Steeler (fantasy) GMs …
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