After a few months of contract poker, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert decided to dump a few chips on All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown. It didn't hurt that the team needed extra salary cap space.
Pittsburgh reportedly used some creative bookkeeping to award Brown a $2 million raise for the coming season, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The team converted dollars from his 2016 base salary into an added signing bonus for 2015, raising his contract value to $8 million his season.
Colbert had previously said that it was against team policy to renegotiate with any non-quarterback player who wasn't in the last year of a contract. That proclamation came after Brown's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, sought to secure a new deal for his client, who was set to enter the 2015 season as the league's 14th-highest paid wideout in terms of average salary, according to Spotrac.com.
Brown had reportedly mulled a holdout earlier this offseason, but decided it was in his best interests to report to camp. He has since had to watch fellow receivers like Demaryius Thomas and Julio Jones sign monster deals. While the added $2 million will likely satisfy Brown for the next year, it's very likely the contract negotiations will come up again next offseason.
The Steelers also restructured the contracts of veteran tight end Heath Miller and injured kicker Shaun Suisham to help free up nearly $6 million in cap space, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.