Steelers sign WR to long-term deal, but it's Antonio Brown and not Mike Wallace

Brown, unlike Wallace, has gotten paid. (US PRESSWIRE)

A day after the Steelers told Mike Wallace to forget about negotiating a long term deal until he signs his free agent tender, the team signed another one of its most-important receivers to a long-term deal.

According to’s Jason La Canfora, a league source told him the extension is for five years on top of the 2012 season, meaning that he’s signed through 2017. The team has confirmed that. A league source told La Canfora that the extension is worth $42.5 million for the next six years.

It’s hard to imagine this isn’t some kind of message to Wallace. Not saying the team wouldn’t have signed Brown to an extension anyway -- clearly, this is something the two sides have been discussnig -- but the timing here is just too perfect to be completely coincidental.

Originally, Brown was supposed to make $540,000 this year before becoming a restricted free agent, but now, the real base salary money will kick in beginning in 2013. According to PFT, his signing bonus is $8.5 million.

Brown hasn’t been nearly as prolific as Wallace on the field. He didn’t play much his rookie season, and though he had a breakout last year (69 catches, 1,108 yards but only two touchdowns), Wallace has back-to-back 1,100-yard seasons with at least 60 catches and eight touchdowns in 2010 and 2011.

“We are excited to announce that Antonio Brown will be with the team through at least the 2017 season,” Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said in a statement. “He has played a major role in our success over the past two years and we are thrilled he will be a Steeler for many years to come.”

We’re not sure if Wallace is in that same situation, especially since he’s not at training camp. Knowing that, it’s hard to not figure that Pittsburgh also was speaking directly to Wallace withthis extension. Or as this John Madden parody tweeted.

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