Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Marcus Gilbert is heading into the final year of his rookie contract and he’s made it clear that he wants to remain with the team that drafted him.
“I love it here,” Gilbert told Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else. My agent is working on that. I’m not worried about it. I’m just coming out here trying to get better, trying to become a complete player, trying to win a Super Bowl.”
Gilbert told Fittipaldo that his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, has already had preliminary contract talks with the Steelers, so we’ll have to see where that goes over the course of the next 80 days. The Steelers are also expected to have cornerback Cortez Allen high on their list of players to extend this offseason, so Gilbert might me waiting well into the summer.
While Gilbert has slightly improved every year since being drafted in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft out of Florida, his play is still very inconsistent. That inconsistency is something that new Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak will be in charge of fixing.
“He’s tweaking different areas in our game,” Gilbert said of Munchak. “It’s showing out here. It’s crazy how a coach like him can share with us his experience, what worked best for him and what will work best for us. It’s been working out great for us. I feel like I’ve been having the best offseason I had since I’ve been here.”
The Steelers extended the contract of center Maurkice Pouncey last week and that included $14 million in guaranteed money. While Gilbert won’t see that much in guarantees as part of a new extension with the Steelers, $5 million might not be out of the question when you look at the contracts signed this offseason by Michael Oher, Breno Giacomini and Austin Howard.
For now, Gilbert is leaving all of that up to his agent.
“He’s looking into it. I just want to go out there and play. I’m just here to play football.”
Other possible comparable contracts:
Michael Oher – Signed a four-year, $20 million contract with the Tennessee Titans that included $9.35 million guaranteed of which $4 million was a signing bonus.
Breno Giacomini – Signed a four-year, $18 million contract with the New York Jets that included $7 million guaranteed of which $2.5 million was a signing bonus and $1 million was a first-year roster bonus.