The Pittsburgh Steelers made headlines on Thursday by extending one of their core performers to a multi-year contract. While many fans may have expected that deal to go to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger or outside linebacker Jason Worilds, they would have been wrong. Instead, it was center Maurkice Pouncey that was extended.
In all, Pouncey will receive a $13 million signing bonus on a that will total up to $48 million over the next six seasons (he had one year remaining on his rookie contract). This contract surpasses the five-year, $42 million deal Alex Mack (Cleveland Browns) signed as a restricted free agent early in 2014. This contract could come as a surprise to some as Pouncey missed all but eight snaps in 2013 on a freak play where he tore his ACL and MCL. However, if he returns to form in 2014, he would have been a hot commodity as an unrestricted free agent heading into the 2015 free agent feeding frenzy.
With Pouncey under contract for multiple seasons, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger may be next in line for an extension. The veteran signal caller has made it clear that he would like Pouncey to be the last center he plays with in his storied career, and the Steelers would be smart to ensure that happens.
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