Knee Injury Might Prevent Steelers From Extending Maurkice Pouncey Next Offseason

Pouncey Injury

The Pittsburgh Steelers were likely hoping to extend the contract of center Maurkice Pouncey next offseason, but now his season ending knee injury that he suffered in the opener against the Tennessee Titans could make for difficult negotiations.

Pouncey, whose rookie contract is up following the 2014 season, is set to count $4.639 million against the cap in 2014. That number includes a $1.95 million roster bonus that the Steelers probably had planned on rolling into a new extension next offseason.

Now that Pouncey will be coming off a serious knee injury, those extension talks figure to be interesting ones. The Steelers will undoubtedly have concerns about Pouncey’s knee, while Pouncey will insist he is a three-time Pro Bowler center that deserves to be paid like one.

If at all possible, the Steelers will want to get Pouncey’s 2014 cap hit down, but they won’t be able to do so without extending him. Should they choose to allow him to play out the final year of his contract instead, they might be forced to place the franchise tag on him after the 2014 season with the hopes of working out a long-term deal. If Pouncey has a Pro Bowl year in 2014, his price tag will climb even higher.

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Jason

    Good riddance. Spend that money on much needed upgrades/depth at other positions. Let Pouncey get on to his life’s work as Hernandez’s defense attorney. This guy has underachieved and regressed since his rookie year and is a D-bag off the field. Hopefully Valesco proves to be a nice pickup and even makes Pouncey expendable.

  • Weiss Chad

    I hope velasco is an improvement.I like pouncey and believe he is a good center but overated a bit.I don’t think he’s even the best center in the league w the last name pouncey.He will be missed as a captain and leader of offence..I still don’t understand what decastro was thinking on that play.

  • T R

    Resign this man.. He had nothing to do with this injury..He is young. he will heal just fine and continue his great life as a steeler. Well unless this V’guy proforms very well then.. But we need continuity on our line. and he was the only rock… we need to keep him there as experienced and help build our line.. we need to use our picks to get some help for him.

  • Steeler Wheeler

    My mom always said “show me your friends and I’ll show you who you are!” I hope that hat costs that cat a few million dollars, and I hope for the Steelers that he grows up and learns how to play football.

  • Jason

    You mean like a first round pick on his right side and 2 second round tackles…..wait we did that already. This guy hasn’t lived up to his hype and was actually the 12th ranked center by pro football focus last year, 1 spot behind……Valesco at #11

  • Steeler Wheeler

    Sure this injury wasn’t his fault, but he did miss the SB, miss the playoff loss to Denver, and miss the rest of this season. That definitely labels him “injury-prone.” I wouldn’t be breaking the bank on a guy with questions surrounding his character, health, and on-field play. Hope he gets healthy and stays healthy, figures out football and life (the two are likely related), and the Steelers make the right move.

  • Jeff

    Pouncey has been riding the hype since his rookie season….. For me, all of his injuries stand out more than his play… I have a hunch he’s going to want absurd money when it comes contract time…. just a hunch though

  • Jeff

    By the way, anyone else see Mike Wallace throwing a hissy after one catch over the weekend? It was funny reading ESPN comments – it was like dolphin fans were surprised by this “me first” behavior.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    The FO does have a really tough decision. I do have to wonder with the knee injury if it might make sense for a move to G for him. He is extremely athletic for a C and somewhat undersized IMO. He struggles with BIG NTs. If Valesco works out well, you have to at least consider it. It comes down to a question of, is Valesco or Foster the better player/starter.

    I will say this, and I know this was the first game in the ZBS, but at the moment the Oline is NOT fixed and needs to be looked at as needing fixed. The CB position needs help as well.

    I am not a doomsday guy, but that performance on Sunday creates PLENTY of holes that need fixed.

  • Joe Bu

    Pouncey is a good center, especially if looking for an athletic guy to get to the 2nd level. My thing is, take care of the first level first – stop allowing sacks, getting walked back into the pocket, etc. What was it this week: 5 sacks, 6 hits on Ben & 4 rushes. Regardless of the numbers and realizing part of them was with Beachum in – that’s over 40% of the plays that were pass attempts where Ben had no protection.

    Back to Pouncey – Pouncey is no D. Dawson or Mike Webster (RIP) who we got spoiled by. Whether it’s a coincidence or not, Pouncey is always getting hurt. (Granted, DeCastro went Cuban Missile or pulled a Hernandez on Pouncey’s leg)

  • CrazyTerry

    Trade Pouncey not because he is a bum. He is overrated.Good second level run blocker, decent first level run blocker, very average pass blocker. If this new guy works out, use the money saved on Poiuncey and spend it on a better tackles. Set Pouncey at the highest restricted tender. Then some team might sign him and Steelers get a first round pick in return. See if you can trade him for a mid first rounder and maybe as a bonus, an extra middle round pick too.
    You always want to trade highly overrated players because other teams will covet him too and instead of you paying a premium on his value, other teams will do that and you benefit from that.

  • Mike Carroll

    This is good news! The Front Office and coaches over-valued too many of “their players” from 2010-2012. Partly, they seemed to severely mis-read the salary cap trajectory after the new CBA was signed in 2011. And partly, they seemed to be suffering from the personal hubris that comes all too easily with the success they experienced in the prior decade. In any event, they overspent on too many players. Colbert has done a better job this offseason, but I’m still not sure he’s going to get the team back on track. Hopefully, Pouncey’s injury (and Velasco’s replacement play) provides Colbert with sufficient reason to hold off on extending him with some ridiculous $8M/year type deal next year.

    Unfortunately, Tomlin makes so many comments about players “pedigrees” that I really begin to wonder how well he can evaluate actual talent.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Can you really be “prone” to “having people fall on you”?

  • Matthew Marczi

    You can’t tender Pouncey…and nobody’s going to trade a first round pick for somebody coming off an ACL injury short of Darrelle Revis.

  • T R

    Touche LOL

  • Jason

    LOL

  • Brendon Glad

    Are we ever going to get the explanation from David DeCastro, or at a minimum, from the coaching staff as to WTF DeCastro was trying to accomplish on that play? Because I’m ALL EARS AND EYES.
    After discussing this with my Steelers friends, only 3 options have been worthy of any consideration. All 3 are extremely disturbing…so by God I’m hoping I hear #4 from DeCastro or Tomlin, and that it makes sense.
    1) DeCastro was attempting to commit a very dirty play on an opponent (an illegal chop block) and was so inept at it that he fell into Pouncey instead.
    2) DeCastro (with no pushing from any defender) simply stumbled into Pouncey’s leg.
    3) DeCastro has a personal beef with Pouncey and did it on purpose.

    I mean, YES, my friends and I are GRASPING here. Did you see number THREE? That’s why A STATEMENT is needed!!! PRONTO! I mean what else besides those 3 are there?

  • Brendon Glad

    And if the statement’s already been made, someone please link me to it. Thanks. I haven’t felt this sick after an opening day since 1989. (They did make the playoffs that year…but wow…I haven’t forgotten that feeling nonetheless.)
    I was 18. And it is the ONLY time I attempted to switch teams. I did it for a week after week 2 and tried to root for the Eagles. It only lasted a week. And I felt bad about it. I will never do that again. But I remember the sick feeling. And I was absolutely sick, sick, sick Sunday. I hope they muster up some of that Steeler Fortitude and snap me out of it.

  • Brendon Glad

    Yes. I agree 100%. And that last part especially. I’ve been scouring the net and my Steelers friends and I have been blowing up our phones trying to find the answer to the question of what DeCastro was trying to do on that play.
    You couldn’t have had 70,000 karate experts at the game kicking each fan in the solar-plexis and gotten more wind taken out of a stadium than DeCastro did all by himself. I’ve never heard Heinz Field/Three Rivers get the wind taken out of it that fast and for that long in my life.

  • Brendon Glad

    Yes. But no more prone than any other Steeler o-lineman is. That’s becoming “the standard”.

  • Soliciting Steelers

    Pouncey doesn’t have a leg to stand on (pun intended), we should be able to sign him cheaper do to ACL injury, plus past injuries that kept him constantly dinged up including the Super Bowl when we needed him most…its the nature of the business and Pouncey just had bad luck this year, however, he needs to take whatever $ we offer that’s reasonable else he takes a BIG gamble playing next year without extension and possibly lowering his stock and/or reinjured!

  • steeltown

    Wallace is a turd… hey guy YOUR Team won!!!

  • steeltown

    This situation has gotten interesting, I thought for sure Ben and Pouncey would be extended next offseason..and then also Miller (if healthy)… now, not so much, but I still see Ben and Heath receiving extensions

  • Mkeller

    How about “injured a lot” instead. Lower leg injuries have a cumulative affect on a player. Judging that is the trick. Its semantics as to whether the guy is prone to injury or just been injured often.

  • Mkeller

    There’s a lot of good posts regarding Pouncey’s future with the team. The problem the Steelers face is that they get themselves backed into a corner with the players they keep restructuring. I know they need to be cap compliant but there’s no genius to what they’re doing. Converting salary to bonus…not that brilliant. But at some point you hit the tipping point where its impossible to have the back end cap hit so you extend the player. You don’t want to extend the player you have to. Its bad business. Next year a 4.5 mil cap hit for a center coming off injury is no good. Extending him because that cap # is no good has the potential to make a bad contract situation worse. Its a tough situation but at some point they need to make some tough choices on players.

  • Mkeller

    I understand moving on from all players is not practical. It just seems like there are some bad contract situation’s on the books and there are more to come. Not sure but I think they have also restructured AB, LT and LW. Then of course the big one with Ben. It eliminates the benefit to the franchise of non guaranteed contracts. They cant walk away when the player stops performing because the cap hit is too devastating.

  • Richard Cetrone

    No you can’t. But the facts are the guy is injured every season and has missed the biggest games of his NFL career because of it.

  • HopalongCassidy

    Pouncey is way over-rated to begin with. He is no more than average at best.

  • Weiss Chad

    I agree w you about a brown.He seens to be a little overpaid.I love the guy, Love his work ethic,disagree w some of his statements.Bottom line though is he is a great number two. Imo he is not a number one.He played well bit this team for once really needs a big playmaker.The odds are stacked against ben w no o line and running game in shambles, tight ends that cant block and imo my oppinion the best reciever on this team is a rookie.Without Ben and Miller this offense looks like the jaguars.With Ben and Miller w a good defense and getting hot at right time until they are eliminated, they will always have a chance imo

  • VaDave

    I read some where Pouncey was supposed to be heading to the second level, but was held in place by who he was blocking and screwed up the timing. This is not an illegal block as Baltimore Marshall Yanda is making a career out of that kind of block with Birk heading off to nail a linebacker. We were screaming blue bloody murder over this same thing a couple of years ago. Maybe Dave can put up a gif of this play and show just how much the DT was holding Pouncey. May be illegally….

  • VaDave

    If he is undersized as a center, he’s going to be a lot more undersized at guard. Unless we intend to run a whole lot of the old Cleveland Brown sweep with Pouncey and DeCastro doing their best Hickerson and Wooton impersonations, he would not be much use at guard. He just is not big or strong enough in todays game.

  • Thomas Rancy

    I’d laugh if they keep him next year, franchise him…and sign his brother when he becomes a free agent haha

  • Kenneth Wilt

    The times Pouncey really struggles IMO is when the NT is right on him. Moving to guard eliminates that.

  • VaDave

    Moving him to guard where he can play directly man on man with a DT is not going to be much more of an improvement. Where Pouncey shines is getting out in space getting to the next level, not grinding it out in the pits. JMO.