Maurkice Pouncey Extension Comes During Age Of Reason

Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey started 46 professional football games before the day he would turn 24 years old.

He could have started over 60 games before his 25th birthday, which comes late next month, if not for an unfortunate mistake by his fellow interior lineman, which put an end to his fourth season just eight snaps into it.

As it currently stands, Pouncey is the second-youngest starter on the offensive line, yet also the second-most experienced.

And he’s also the only one to have been honored for his performance, earning three Pro Bowl trips and three nominations to the All-Pro team for his work in his first three seasons.

It’s difficult to fault the organization’s decision to extend Pouncey for five years to the tune of $44 million in new money just on those grounds alone, yet there’s so much more that goes into the signing than statistics—as ephemeral as they might be for offensive linemen—can explain.

Pouncey may be the second-youngest starter—for the moment—but he is also the second-most tenured on the team, as well as the most accomplished, and that grants him the ability to command a young offensive line group that is nonetheless made up primarily of individuals that are older than he is, including the reserves.

Marcus Gilbert, drafted the year after Pouncey, is in fact already 26 years old. Kelvin Beachum, drafted two classes later, just turned 25 about a week ago. Only David DeCastro among the starters is younger, having turned 24 in January.

Ramon Foster, of course, has been here a year longer than the center, and he is already 28. He is also the only player more experienced, notching 72 appearances with 57 starts. Without last season’s injury, Pouncey would have more starts to his name.

Pouncey has accomplished more entering his year-25 season than any Steelers lineman has in some time—perhaps ever.

Alan Faneca did not earn a Pro Bowl nomination until his fourth season, and he, like Pouncey, started as a rookie. Dermontti Dawson did not start until his fourth season in 1991, and first made the Pro Bowl in 1992 in his fifth year.

He has already accomplished so much at such a young age, this despite missing essentially an entire season a year ago with a knee injury that he has already recovered surprisingly well from. But there’s still a long way to go in the next six years.

By the time Pouncey completes his 10th season at the completion of his current five-year extension, he will still be just 31 years old.

That is the same age at which Faneca’s time with the Steelers ended, though he went on to play three more seasons. He was still making Pro Bowls. Dawson was still earning Pro Bowl nominations for the Steelers in 1998, at the age of 33.

It’s impossible to know, of course, if Pouncey will be able to follow suit and continue to rack up the perennial distinctions, but that can be said of any player. The Steelers made a very rational decision to lock up their center now, and his age was a major reason why.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • Carl Eagan

    The reality is Pouncey made the pro-bowl and second team all pro because a couple of high school soccer players kept voting for him online. Sports writers also vote and they don’t consider talent, production and potential as much as access and availability for sound bites. He is at best the 12th best center in the league and thats PFF being generous and not much of an upgrade over Wallace. This contract will hurt the Steeler’s for years to come and that is when yopu’ll forget you wrote this article and steal my comment as a storyline. Pouncey excels with the street corner mentality in the locker room and he gives the Steeler’s a marketing idea with his ” Free Hernandez ” hat. Look for it in black and gold.

  • steeltown


  • 2443scott

    if he wasnt signed to long term then steelers be looking the next 2 years for a center in draft meaning they would use those picks they could used on other positions on both sides ball

  • PA2AK

    He also had All-Pro honors those years. I agree that Pro-bowl voting is a little goofy and have similar problems with some of his off-field MINOR immaturities….but to say he is barely an upgrade over wallace and that the contract will hurt the steelers in years to come just shows you are utterly clueless. Try reading and comprehension of the deal. This is a hometown deal and I applaud Pouncey for agreeing to it. It takes a certain kind of loyalty and maturity to agree to a deal like that, considering the profession.

  • steeltown

    I think this was meant for Carl above

  • Eric MacLaurin

    What part of this has you so confused? Is it your inability to think outside of a specific statistical category or do you just come here sounding like a fool because he took your girlfriend?

    You think PFF is an argument? You said nothing except to show that you didn’t read the story and haven’t paid attention to the contract.

    It’s specifically designed not to hurt the steelers long term by not being guaranteed.

    What do you think is in your comments that would be usable in a story even if you prediction comes as true as it possibly can? I can see making fun of you but what did you write that’s not a regurge of someone else?

  • Axe Skot

    Good deal

  • Clearly not the sharpest knife in the drawer…

  • joed32

    PFF is a group of young British bloggers. They’re grades are arbitrary and don’t really carry any weight except with internet nuts like ourselves.

  • PA2AK

    Hey…gimme a break…it was 6am my time!

  • Yiz

    “Street corner mentality in the locker room”? And you’ve been inside the Steelers locker room how many times? You’re ignorance is pathetic.

  • Jeff

    I think the central point to take from this is…. don’t steal Carl’s storylines?

  • Matthew Marczi

    Cheer up buddy. It’ll be okay.

  • Rick Eger

    Calm down the money’s not coming out of your pocket!

  • Steelers12328882

    Your reality is not exactly shared by everyone.