Brown's spot at the top of the list of best-paid receivers isn't surprising given how much he has produced for the Steelers.
He is eligible to stay in Pittsburgh on a one-year deal that equates to, per a league source, 5.892 percent of the 2017 salary cap.
The team announced on Monday that they would use their exclusive franchise tag on Le'Veon Bell, per ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.
We have placed the franchise tag on RB Le'Veon Bell.
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The tag will keep Bell off the free agent market, which begins March 9th, and allow the Steelers to attempt to sign him for longer than one year. Under the terms of the tag, Bell will only be able to negotiate with the Steelers and can not sign an offer with another team.
Brown earned his fifth Pro Bowl selection following the 2016 season and was a first-team Associated Press All-Pro pick for the third consecutive year. Playing in 12 games, he accumulated 1,268 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground while catching 75 targets for 616 yards and two scores as a receiver out of the backfield. According to reports, the Steelers could finalize a long-term agreement with Brown during the NFL Scouting Combine this week.
However, while the Cardinals have slapped pass rusher Chandler Jones with their tag in addition to the Panthers selecting defensive tackle Kawann Short, the veteran rusher in Bell has become the first offensive player to be tagged this offseason.
If/when Peterson is let go from the Vikings, making Bell the highest paid running back in the National Football League might be an easier pill to swallow.