Thanks to the new slotting system provided in the 2011 CBA, almost 100 of the players selected last month in the 2013 NFL Draft are now under contract. The Pittsburgh Steelers, however, have yet to sign any of their nine selections, but you shouldn\’t be losing any sleep over that.
Being as the Steelers will be close up against the salary cap until after June 1st, you can probably expect that Jarvis Jones, Le\’Veon Bell and Markus Wheaton will remain unsigned until at least then as that\’s when the Steelers receive the $5.5 million worth of cap space coming to them from the early offseason release of guard Willie Colon.
There is a good chance that the remaining six draft picks might have to wait until the beginning of June as well, just in case the team needs every bit of cap space to sign another free agent or two between now and then.
Below is a projection of what the base salaries, signing bonuses and first year cap hits will be for each of the Steelers nine draft picks based on the slotting system. These won\’t be exact, but they will be very close.
As far as Jarvis Jones goes, the first three years of the four year contract that he will eventually sign will more than likely be fully guaranteed. As far as the fourth year of the deal, that will be up for negotiation and will likely result in Jones having around $790,000 of his deal as a non guaranteed roster bonus that will be due him in March of 2016. Basically, the final year is a split salary with only half of it fully guaranteed. This is exactly the kind of deal that Dre Kirkpatrick, who was drafted 17th overall in 2012, signed with the Cincinnati Bengals.
As a point of reference, the New Orleans Saints have already signed safety Kenny Vaccaro, who was selected just two picks ahead of Jones was, and his contract was fully guaranteed with a total value is $9,424,704 and included a signing bonus of $5,234,328.
While it might take a little longer than several other teams, the Steelers will indeed have all nine of their draft picks under contract by the time training camp rolls around.
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