Contract Extension For Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey Not Guaranteed To Happen This Offseason

Not only is Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey coming off of a serious knee injury that cost him all but eight plays of the 2013 season, he’s also about to enter the final year of his rookie contract.

Scott Brown of recently wrote that he believes the Steelers will get a long-term deal done this offseason with their former first-round draft pick and while that indeed might be the final result, the team might be forced to wait on an extension until next offseason.

It’s important to keep in mind that the Steelers might want to get cornerback Cortez Allen and defensive end Cameron Heyward both extended prior to the start of the 2014 season. Heyward, however, has a fifth-year option that can be picked up in May, so that at least would buy the Steelers some time with him.

In addition to Allen and Heyward, linebacker Jason Worilds is still riding on the transition tender given him several weeks ago and there’s always the possibility that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will still get extended this offseason.

When it comes to Pouncey, the team might very well want to wait until next offseason to address his situation just to make sure he has no further issues with his knee. Assuming the team gets deals worked out with Allen, Heyward and Worilds this offseason, they would be able to use the transition or franchise tag on Pouncey next offseason and that would buy them a few more months time to get a long-term deal worked out with him.

Keep this in mind. Pouncey is already set to count $5.264 million against the salary cap in 2014 and if his $2.75 million roster bonus was indeed already paid to him at the start of the new league year, then over $4.15 million of his $5.264 million cap hit is already etched in stone. In other words, an extension would more than likely make his 2014 cap charge even higher than it already is.

Sure, the Steelers will get $8 million in salary cap space come June 1, but roughly a third of that will be needed to sign the 2014 draft class. The Steelers also like to have a million or so in reserve for in-season emergencies, so if both Allen and Heyward are signed to extensions, depending on the structure, you can see where Pouncey might have to wait unless Worilds or Roethlisberger are also extended as that would potentially free up more cap space.

This could certainly go either way this offseason, but rest assured we aren’t likely to see anything happen in the way of extensions until the team reports to training camp in late July.

  • Jason

    I’d wait till next off season because as of now I’m not sure he’s even deserving of an extention. Injury aside, his play has been less than stellar since his rookie season.

  • steeltown

    Completely agree. I highly highly doubt Pouncey is offered an extension.. however I could see C.Allen and Worilds being given extensions, Heyward is obviously a prime candidate as well but with his 5th year option it wont be as pressing and could be done before the ’15 season

  • NW86

    I’m sure they will make him an offer for an extension, but it won’t be a top-notch salary and won’t have a ton of guarantees past year 1. Pouncey will have to decide whether to take the security of an extension or bet on himself to stay healthy and raise his value in 2014. My guess is he’ll take the gamble and play out the season.
    I don’t see the Steelers using the franchise tag or transition tag on Pouncey in 2015. All OL are lumped together to calculate those numbers, so they are basically paid like a top-notch LT. Probably like $12M for franchise, $10M for transition. That’s too much for Pouncey, no matter what kind of year he has in 2014.

  • SFIC

    It’s a double edge sword. The Steelers could try to get Pouncey to accept a lower deal now which would be based on his injury history. Average salary. Low guaranteed money. You never know, he might bite.
    But, what if the Steelers wait and Pouncey bounces back and has an All-Pro year? That will cost them big time.
    Then, on the other hand, if they wait and Pouncey has another injury riddled year, he would surely not be resigned and the Steelers would be relieved they didn’t extend him.
    A tough situation. But, don’t be surprised if the Steelers draft another interior OLineman who can play Center as a contingency.

  • Matt Manzo

    There’s nothing wrong with waiting! Especially with his luck getting hurt! Let’s pray there’s no more swan dives into his knees!

  • Decastro you hear that!^

  • Paddy

    He’s hurt way too much to sign him long term at all

  • chris ward

    Would like to see how Pouncey does recovering from his knee injury, before the Steelers give him an extension.

  • frednash

    He’s to little to play center

    he’d be better as a pulling guard

  • pittsburghjoe

    I see no need to offer an extension to the single most overrated lineman in football. I know there will be others that strongly disagree with me, but I will keep beating the drum NOT to pay him the money. He is a good lineman, nothing more, and nothing less, and that is how he should be paid. I really don’t care how many pro bowls this guy has made either. His play has not matched his “anointed”, inflated status. So take that argument and flush it down the toilet. He had ONE good year, period.

  • Michael Pearce


  • Jay Jaber

    I really think they should gamble and sign him now. I think they can sign him for cheap instead of risking him having a great season next year and we won’t be able to offered him

  • Jason

    His Pro Bowls are simply a result of lazy voters in my opinion. They see rookie year pro bowl and figure hell he was a pro bowler last year surely he’s even better this year when in reality he has gotten progressively worse. If Ray Lewis came back next year he would make the Pro Bowl, it means nothing.

  • Jason

    His ego is waaaay too inflated to be had for cheap now or later.

  • pittsburghjoe

    Yeah, I hope he pulls up and moves to Jacksonville or Oakland.

  • Brian Miller

    Agree…I think his brother has been playing much better than him…

  • Brian Miller

    Ha ha! I see what you did there…

  • Brian Miller

    yup…that is what worries me too. I think him and his agent will think he is the best center in football and try and get a contract that matches…but if that is the case, I know Pittsburgh won’t give him that, so it could turn into another Mike Wallace fiasco…

  • Jason

    I wouldn’t really consider the Wallace thing a fiasco. It was a player and his agent way overvaluing a players worth (see James Harrison) and the player leaving and proving to his unsuspecting buyer what we already knew. Let Pouncey go in that situation too, he can be replaced,

  • Brian Miller

    Well, by fiasco I mean causing locker room tension, constant media questions, holding out through training camp…yes, I would call that a fiasco in Pittsburgh’s normally straight-laced facilities…I wasn’t sad to see him go I assure you believe me, I just don’t want or like the distractions.

  • Jason

    I see. Yes, in that way you could say it was a fiasco.

  • CrazyTerry

    Try to sign h9im for a reasonable contract now, If he doesn’t bite, trade him if you can get a 1st rounder in return in case some other team overvalues him . Your third option should be to wait a year.

  • pittsburghjoe

    Bit harsh…but just a little humor.

  • pittsburghjoe

    His ego, and agent, will prevent anything reasonable from occurring.

  • pat

    I said the same thing but realized a team wont trade a high draft pick to rent him for a yr

  • pat

    He is good but very overrated id wait see how he plays first

  • Maureen A Gomes


  • steelersfan

    I’d be very careful about doing this. Pouncey seems to be injured every year and while this can be waved off as bad luck, the last thing we want is another Woodley contract on our hands. Heyward and Allen’s extensions are more important in my opinion.

  • PoKey21

    I’m not saying its a good idea or anything but at this very moment i bet that Miami would pay a pretty hefty price for Pouncey. He’s a more than serviceable center but not as good as his reputation. Miami is just the team that wouldn’t do their research, have a desperate need for oline men, and would love to connect the Pouncey twins in Florida again. I’m not saying we should do it, I’m not saying its in the works, or the the Dolphins would do it. However it would be nice putting some feelers out there and see if Miami would get caught up in the storm.

  • Nolrog

    Or they could just resign Velasco who did a fine job there last year.

  • Nolrog

    Pouncey is in the last year of his rookie deal. If it was me, and I get near free agency, I would test it to see what other teams would offer. That’s the risk the Steelers take. If that happens, then I believe he’s very likely to get a strong offer elsewhere and leave. But then again, with so many high picks on the line, you can’t pay everyone, so someone will wind up leaving.

  • walter mason

    I dont blame DeCastro. I blame the coach who is now gone. Cut blocking should be illegal anyway.

  • walter mason

    Free Hernendez?

  • Steve

    Remember Velasco had knee surgery also. This is why the Steelers have not signed him and LSH.