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Steelers’ Brown honors contract, eschews holdout

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PITTSBURGH — Wide receiver Antonio Brown, who caught 129 passes for 1,698 yards last season, took part in all three of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ practices this week despite talk he might hold out for a new contract.

Brown, rated by some as one of the top 10 players in the league, signed a six-year, $41 million contract in 2012 and is due to earn $9.8 million this season, well under the astronomical deals signed by other top wide receivers.

Brown said he didn’t consider holding out, despite rumors to the contrary. When asked about his contract status this week, he sidestepped the issue.

“That’s totally up to my agent,” Brown told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I’m here singularly focused to get better and better on my game. This organization has been nothing but first class to me, believing in my time and my skills since I got here. I’m ready to pay them back with my work ethic.

“This is a community that I love. My kids go to school here. I want to keep a good reputation. Obviously money’s not important to me. I’ve got enough. The organization has extremely blessed me. I’m ready to play football.”

Brown, whose contract runs through 2017, knows the Steelers do not extend contracts until they are in the final year.

–Jerome Bettis, who this year will become the fourth Steelers running back to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, thinks Le’Veon Bell could eventually surpass them all.

“I think if he continues on his course, I think he can be one of the best that ever put on a uniform — not just a Steelers uniform, one of the best running backs ever,” Bettis said.

–Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said that, unlike Tom Brady and others, he does not care about the pressure of the footballs he throws in games.

“People ask me all the time what our PSI is. I have no idea,” he said. “Whatever they put it at, I play with it. I am not even one that messes with the balls before the games to see which ones I like. I just go play.”

–Rookie wide receiver Sammie Coates, a third-round pick, was chosen to represent the Steelers at the 21st annual NFLPA Rookie Premier in Los Angeles.


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