PITTSBURGH -- Antonio Brown is now a $10 million man in 2016.
The Pittsburgh Steelers rewarded their star receiver with a restructured contract that advances $4 million of 2017 money into this year's $6.25 million base salary for a total of $10.25 million, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
The deal, which doesn't include any additional years but does include a $8.975 million signing bonus and a $1.275 million base salary, sets the stage for a larger extension, as the Steelers promised to rework Brown's contract after this season, the source told Schefter.
Brown, 28, had privately hoped for a restructured deal -- as had happened last season -- once it became clear the Steelers would stick to their long-standing policy of not renegotiating contracts until a player has one year remaining.
Before the 2015 season, the Steelers moved up $2 million of 2016 salary into a signing bonus, giving Brown $8 million-plus. He rewarded the Steelers with 136 catches, 1,834 yards and 10 touchdowns.
As a result of the new restructured deal, Brown's 2017 salary -- the last year of a six-year, $43 million extension he signed in 2012 -- now drops from $8.7 to $4.7 million. If he keeps producing and stays healthy, he's unlikely to play under that figure.
With 265 catches since 2014, Brown has outplayed his contract, but he's getting a nice advance to hold him over.
"You have to take care of your guys," Brown said at the start of training camp. "If a guy underperforms, you get rid of him. If a guy overperforms, you take care of him."
The Steelers recently cleared cap space with restructured contracts for right tackle Marcus Gilbert and safety Mike Mitchell. They intend to use the more than $4 million in additional space toward Brown's restructured deal and a possible extension for All-Pro guard David DeCastro before the Sept. 12 season opener at Washington.