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Thursday, June 12, 2014

OTA's wrap up with Pouncey contract

The Steelers wrapped up their OTAs for this offseason with the announcement that they had signed center Maurkice Pouncey to what amounts to a six-year, $48-million deal.

Sounds like a lot, right? It is, until you look at the overall numbers.

While Pouncey's deal makes him the NFL's highest-paid center, in a couple of seasons, he'll probably be the seventh or eighth highest-paid player at his position.

And his 2014 cap hit of $3.6 million isn't anywhere near the top of the charts for centers, and is far less than the $5.26 million he was scheduled to count against the cap this season. Editor's Note: The savings doesn't take into account $1.4 million of remaining bonus money from his rookie deal. So the savings in 2014 is actually about $250,000.

So, in reality, the Steelers just saved themselves some cap space this season while also locking up a player who was the first center in NFL history to make the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons.

Is there a downside? Sure. Maybe Pouncey comes back and isn't the player he was before tearing his ACL in the first game of last season. Maybe he re-injures the knee. But that's a danger any time you sign a player to a long-term deal in football.

As hard as it is to believe, Pouncey is still just 24 years old. His best football is still ahead of him. And his contract extension Thursday made sure he'll play that best football in Pittsburgh.

@ Some of those trashing the Pouncey signing point to Pro Football Focus' ranking of Pouncey outside the top 12 in NFL centers as proof.

PFF's rankings are ridiculous. Some of the same people who use the PFF rankings to rip Pouncey also rip cornerback William Gay, who was one of PFF's highest-rated cornerbacks in the NFL last season.

There is no way somebody sitting on a couch somewhere can accurately judge how well or how poorly every player on a football field performed on every given play of a game. It's just not possible without knowing assignments and other things that go into it.

That's not to say that PFF doesn't have some good statistics. The site's breakdowns on where plays are run and such are excellent.

But don't quote me their player rankings as the be-all, end-all. It's just not the case.

@ Mike Mitchell jumped a pass in the red zone today with the kind of closing speed that was reminiscent of a young Troy Polamalu, easily picking it off. It was his second interception at the OTAs this week.

His speed could be a game-changer for the Steelers.

Mitchell, of course, will finally get his first opportunity to work with Polamalu next week at mini-camp.

Polamalu, as he often has, skipped all the OTAs to work out on his own.

@ I look for the Steelers to try to get something done on a contract with Cortez Allen next, assuming Allen wants to do a deal.

Right now, Gay is the only veteran cornerback on the roster signed for next season.

Why wouldn't Allen want to sign now?

He could be looking at Keenan Lewis-type money down the road if he has a big 2014.

It's unlikely the Steelers at this point would offer him a deal in the neighborhood of the five-year, $26.3-million deal Lewis signed with New Orleans.

14 comments:

datruth4life said...

Dale,

The $1.9M saved with Pouncey's extension alone is enough to sign Deebo & Da Beard to vet minimum contracts, correct? I still say Colbert should bring both of them on board for depth, but no harm in seeing what the young guys can do at their positions first.

For Cortez, I'm thinking they'll offer him a 4-year extension worth $18M with about a $6M signing bonus.

Anonymous said...

Roster spots are valuable; as is always mentioned, backups need to contribute on special teams and no one is certain Harrison or Keisel fit the bill.

Anonymous said...

I just wish our 8 million a year center could actually get push in the run game...

Anonymous said...

Harrison is DONE

people need to stop whining about bringing him back

Anonymous said...

Dale, how about Roethlisberger? He should be the #1 priority!

adamg said...

BR is 32 with a lot of hard miles on him. I honestly don't think BR gets a contract extention. Read between the lines of the things the Steelers are doing like concentrating on improving the defense and continuing to emphasise running the football. None of the things BR wanted/wants, except the no huddle, have happened. IMHO, everything points to the Steelers planning to go with a game mgr type qb. IF they feel they want/need BR after his current deal is up, they can franchise or transition tag him for a year.

Patrick said...

You re out of your mind if you don't think the steelers want Ben retiring a steeler

Anonymous said...

If the Steelers don't want to extend BR, Colbert and Tomlin should be fired immediately.

DD said...

I would take a 45 yr old BR vs having to deal with the nonsense the STeelers had to deal with at QB for 25 yrs. Kordell, tommy, kent, bubby, mike, etc. All garbage

Anonymous said...

adamg u got some unique way of thinking that needs to corrected.

Dale Lolley said...

I honestly don't understand all of the angst over extending Roethlisberger. He has two years left on his contract. Next year they can extend him. They've got other things to worry about right now.

Steve-O said...

Dale,
With the money spent on Pouncey (from the Woodley cap space) and the need to still sign Tuit, is there enough money or any chance the Steelers take a run at the recently released Brandon Flowers.

Frank Beans said...

RIP Chuck Noll and thank you for those four lovely Superbowl titles.

Dale Lolley said...

That's a possibility Steve-O. They'll at least look at it.