The Pittsburgh Steelers arguably have the best wide receiver and one of the best young running backs in the NFL in Antonio Brown and LeVeon Bell, and they plan on keeping both men. However, in keeping Brown, the Steelers paid him more money than anyone believed they would and in the process made things very hard for other NFL teams wanting to keep their star receivers.

Antonio Brown's monster contract

The contract that the Pittsburgh Steelers gave Brown was very impressive. The Steelers gave Antonio a four-year extension that made him the highest paid wide receiver in the NFL.

The money is a front-loaded deal that pays him $68 million over four years. He will make $18.5 million in the first three seasons, and that number drops to $12.5 million in the fourth year. There was also a $19 million signing bonus.

The deal works out great for Pittsburgh and Brown because they will pay him the most while he is an elite player and will have a nice drop-off when his skill set might drop in four years. It also ensures that Antonio gets the most of his money quick.

Antonio Brown's Steelers stats

As for Antonio Brown and his worth to Pittsburgh, his numbers alone make him one of the most valuable players in the NFL. The Steelers drafted him in 2010 in the sixth round, meaning his rookie contract was low.

However, he has made it to five Pro Bowls and was a three-time All-Pro.

In 2014, he led the NFL in receiving with 1,698 yards and is the first Pittsburgh wide receiver to have three straight seasons with 1,000 yards and at least ten touchdowns. He has eclipsed 1,000 yards in five of his seven NFL seasons.

The ramifications around the NFL

What the Steelers have to hope is that Antonio Brown continues to play at a high level now that he has been paid. Dez Bryant signed a monster deal with the Dallas Cowboys and hadn't played at the level he did while earning that payday. As for the rest of the NFL, the bar has been set really high.

The wide receiver position is full of players with his personal ideas of their worth. Odell Beckham Jr. is the best player for the New York Giants and is entering his fourth year of his rookie contract. He will make $3.3 million in 2017 and will probably start looking at negotiations.