Digging Deeper Into A Fair Contract Extension For Steelers CB Cortez Allen

With the contract extension for Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey now out of the way, the team can now turn their attention to a few other players that are entering the final year of their rookie contracts.

One of those players could be cornerback Cortez Allen, but it’s tough to find comparisons to the former fourth-round draft pick.

I think we will all agree that Allen has yet to show enough to earn the same kind of money that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers gave this past offseason to cornerback Alterraun Verner. Verner, who was drafted in the fourth-round of the 2010 NFL Draft, signed a four-year, $25.5 million contract this past offseason that included only $8 million in guarantees.

The interesting thing about Verner’s contract is that he didn’t receive a signing bonus as part of that deal. Instead, the Buccaneers gave him a $5 million base salary and a $3 million roster bonus.

Moving past Verner, it’s also hard to see the Steelers giving Allen a contract similar to the one given last offseason to former Pittsburgh cornerback Keenan Lewis by the New Orleans Saints. Lewis received a five-year, $25.5 million contract from the Saints last year that included $10.5 million guaranteed of which $6 million was a signing bonus. The other $4.5 million in guarantees given to Lewis came in the form of his 2013 and 2014 base salaries.

Now that we have a few high-side comparatives, it’s really hard to find any recent low-end comparatives for Allen.

The New York Giants gave free agent cornerback Walter Thurmond a one-year contract worth $3 million this past offseason, so I suppose we can include that. The former Seattle Seahawks draft pick has played a total of 1,230 defensive snaps during his first four seasons in the league.

In addition to Thurmond, the Philadelphia Eagles gave free agent cornerback Nolan Carroll a two-year, $5.25 million contract this past offseason. That contract, however, reportedly includes additional money that Carroll can earn through incentives.

So what’s the high-end for Allen when it comes to average yearly value? $4 million? I had previously thrown out a number of $2.5 million for Allen, but will admit that number likely won’t get a deal done.

Would a five-year, $20 million contract (four-year extension) with $9 million guaranteed get the job done? If $6 million of that were given as a signing bonus and one million given as a guaranteed base salary in 2014, that would result in Allen’s 2014 cap charge being $2,297,875.00, which would be just $769,000 more than it’s already scheduled to be. An additional $2 million base salary in 2015 could also be guaranteed to round out the $9 million number.

A contract laid out like above would be fair for both sides and also very manageable from a salary cap standpoint as Allen’s cap charge in 2015 would only be $3.2 million.

  • steeltown

    5yrs $20MIL sounds fair to me… especially if its laid out somewhat like Pouncey’s deal where we could get out from under it in 2yrs time with very little dead money /cap ramifications

  • Johnny Loose

    I would be happy w/ signing him to a 5yr $20Mil contract, especially if he performs well. Locking him up for 5 years would seem like a good idea given the starters/depth we have. As long as it doesn’t somehow become back-loaded I could see it working out well for the team/salary cap.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I do not think he would sign for anything under 3-4M a year but he has not proven the worth for even that much. Will be interesting to see how this plays out.

  • Matt Manzo

    Do we know what his attitude is like? Does he see himself as the #1, when Ike’s gone, and want #1 CB $?
    Or does he see himself as someone who hasn’t proven himself a starter/leader yet?

  • steelster

    This is the deal that has to be done next. The steelers can’t let him go like they did with Lewis. I think allen will have a breakout year this year so if they extend him now they can get him for a cheap price.

  • Weiss Chad

    I think 4 yrs 20 million would be ok,so 5 yrs 20 million seems like a bargain to me.If I’m Cortez Allen I got more faith in myself than that and play out the year.I hope that’s not the case

  • Douglas Andrews

    Average yearly value of 4 million sounds about right as long as long as it’s structured like Pouncey’s. If after 2-3yrs Allen doesn’t produce the Steelers could move on without the dead money hit.

  • SfSteeler

    i would offer those numbers all day long for a starting CB…some talk about those numbers for Gilbert and thats a laugher to me…

    NO payed KLew $5/25 and they were desperate for DB help and he killed it for us the year before…

  • Lee Pettigrew

    Pouncey should have never gotten that extension. I hope I am proven wrong. He is an injury-prone guy that has been overrated and has serious character issues. I hope he proves his rookie contract worth, let alone this deal. He looks like cocky Willy Colon to me. I’ve watched the Steelers play live in AFC championship games in Pitt and the Super Bowl and other games…don’t recall him showing up. I just see him with “Free Hernandez” hats on. He and his twin should show up to work and shut the f up.

    As for Cortez….I agree

  • daddeeekip

    The thing about Pouncey is this Munchak wanted him signed off on him getting the extension because he needs an athletic center for his OL scheme. Pouncey is considered a leader in the locker amongst his peers and coaching staff. As far as the free Hernandez scandal, remember he did this when it 1st happened of his arrest. I have no problem with a person standing by a friend or former teammate. But he did apologize when he realized it was in bad taste. Now I would have a problem with all the other stuff that has been coming out and he did this now. Indiscretions are going to happen to young men but he does seem to have learned from them plus this is not his brother which seems is always in some type of controversy. As far as the injury corcerns, I do agree it is risky but I feel he is going to have a monster year and will look back at this as a bargain contract.