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Antonio Brown becomes highest-paid WR in NFL after signing extension with Steelers

AB’s big payday has come.

AFC Championship - Pittsburgh Steelers v New England Patriots Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Steelers and wide receiver Antonio Brown have reached an agreement on an extension, as first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that it’s a four-year extension worth $68 million. Brown will get $17 million per year over four years, and $18.5 million over three years.

Brown tweeted an image of himself and agent Drew Rosenhaus, making it official:

The Steelers and Brown had restructured his contract prior to the start of the 2016 season. Now, Brown’s gotten his coveted extension.

The extension puts Brown ahead of Bengals wideout A.J. Green as the highest-paid receiver in the NFL:

Highest-paid NFL wide receivers

Player Team Total Value Avg./Year Total Guaranteed
Player Team Total Value Avg./Year Total Guaranteed
Antonio Brown Steelers $68,000,000 $17,000,000 $19,000,000
A.J. Green Bengals $60,000,000 $15,000,000 $26,750,000
Julio Jones Falcons $71,250,000 $14,250,000 $35,500,000
Demaryius Thomas Broncos $70,000,000 $14,000,000 $35,000,000
Dez Bryant Cowboys $70,000,000 $14,000,000 $32,000,000
T.Y. Hilton Colts $65,000,000 $13,000,000 $11,000,000
Doug Baldwin Seahawks $46,000,000 $11,500,000 $12,000,000
Keenan Allen Chargers $45,000,000 $11,250,000 $20,656,000
Larry Fitzgerald Cardinals $11,000,000 $11,000,000 $0
Jeremy Maclin Chiefs $55,000,000 $11,000,000 $22,500,000
Emmanuel Sanders Broncos $33,000,000 $11,000,000 $20,000,000
Tavon Austin Rams $42,222,004 $10,555,501 $17,000,000
Allen Hurns Jaguars $40,050,000 $10,012,500 $16,000,000
Randall Cobb Packers $40,000,000 $10,000,000 $13,000,000
Jordy Nelson Packers $39,050,000 $9,762,500 $11,500,000
Brandon Marshall Jets $26,000,000 $8,666,667 $9,000,000

Steelers President Art Rooney II was complimentary of Brown at the end of the season. “Antonio is a good guy, a good person,” he said. “I enjoy our personal relationship. His teammates like to have him on the team. He is a hard worker.”

There’s no question that Brown has earned it. He’s been arguably the best wide receiver in the game for the past few seasons, including first-team All-Pro the last three years. He led the league in receptions in 2014 and 2015, and has put up double-digit touchdowns in the past three seasons as well.

Brown made one of the more remarkable and memorable plays of the 2016 season, when he heroically reached across the goal line to give the Steelers the AFC North crown.

The season didn’t go without some controversy. After the Steelers’ win over the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC’s Divisional Round, Brown went on Facebook Live, where head coach Mike Tomlin could be heard talking about the New England Patriots.

“We spotted those assholes a day and a half,” Tomlin said in the video. “They played yesterday, our game got moved to tonight. We gonna touch down at 4 o’clock in the fucking morning. So be it — we’ll be ready for their ass.”

Despite this, Brown played great in the postseason. He had five receptions for 124 yards and two touchdowns against the Dolphins in the Wild Card Round. Then, he followed that up with six catches and 108 yards against the Chiefs, and seven receptions for 77 yards in a loss to the Patriots in the AFC Championship.

You can’t talk about Brown without mentioning his touchdown celebrations. Early in the season, he got a lot of attention after receiving fines for his various celebrations, like twerking and hip thrusting:

In 101 career games, Brown has 632 receptions, 8,377 yards, and 50 touchdowns. He was a sixth-round draft pick by the Steelers in 2010, and had a breakout season in 2011, earning him his first Pro Bowl appearance.

With Brown’s extension, the team has now solidified the futures of two of the three “Killer B’s” after the team hit Le’Veon Bell with the franchise tag on Monday. Ben Roethlisberger is older now and has struggled with injuries lately, but having Bell and Brown as weapons certainly helps with that.

The Steelers will hope to get more from Brown as the years go on. He told Dan Patrick in February, "I’ll be a Steeler for life. That's my plan.”

It certainly appears that may be the case now.