Berry sure doesn’t like it.
“The tag is always an option, and it’s something we’ll use if necessary,” Colbert said. “We have until March to make the decision … this thing is very fluid. It changes daily, once you start into talks with players and start to see how it’s all going to fit. We know that’s an option.
“Even if we were to use the tag on Le’Veon, we would certainly want to do something long-term and have him be a member of the Steelers for life.”
Colbert had the same sentiment on Brown, who was a sixth-round pick of the Steelers in 2010 and is entering the final year of his contract. Brown has had four straight seasons of at least 100 receptions and led the league in catches in 2014 and 2015. His 136 receptions for 1,834 yards in 2015 broke his own franchise records set a year earlier, when he established a team record with 13 touchdowns.
“I can say that Antonio is the only one we’re in specific negotiations with now,” Colbert said. “I can say unequivocally that we want Antonio Brown to retire as a member of the Steelers just as we want Le’Veon Bell to retire as a member of the Steelers.”
This labor agreement still has three years to run (it’s a 10-year deal, signed in 2011 and due to expire in 2020), but it’s never too early for players and the union to lock these feelings away, don’t let them trickle away in the flood of other day-to-day football issues — and push to ditch a system that, by and large, they can’t stand.
Berry sure doesn’t like it. If the football gods allow it, he could still be around three years from now, and he’ll be able to relay his tale of hating the tag. Here in 2017, he’s in line to get tagged for the second straight offseason, meaning the Chiefs are far less likely to sign him to a long-term deal.
They both want one, of course. The Chiefs are still fine with him not having one, though — and with the fact that they don’t really have to negotiate one until they’re good and ready, thanks to the tag.