Knee Injury Might Prevent Steelers From Extending Maurkice Pouncey Next Offseason

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.