On Thursday, the Philadelphia Eagles signed center Jason Kelce to a six-year, $37.5 million contract extension that reportedly included $13 million guaranteed. Being as he had one year remaining on his old contract, the entire deal is being reported as having a potential max value of $40.11 million.
You can break down this deal several ways, but let’s look at the new money side of it which is the $37.5 million over six years as that is likely what other agents will want to compare their clients to. That breaks down to a potential max average of nearly $6.26 million a season.
As far as the $13 million guaranteed goes, I have yet to see how much of that was a signing bonus and whether or not any of the base salaries in the second and third years of the deal are tied to injury, so until I do, we really only have the raw figures to go by.
Being as many consider Kelce to be the top center in the league right now, his new deal figures to set the top of the market for Cleveland Browns center Alex Mack and eventually Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey.
Pouncey is about to enter into the final year of his rookie contract and being as he is coming off a knee injury that sidelined for all but eight snaps of the 2013 season, I doubt he will be signed to an extension between now and the start of the 2014 season. He does, however, now have a big incentive to not only stay healthy, but play well in addition. If he does, the Steelers will have to try to get him extended next offseason before the start of free agency or use the franchise tag on him until a new deal is worked out, if they wish to retain him.
Regardless of the season Pouncey has in 2014, I just can’t see him getting Kelce-type money, but he could possibly demand around $4 million per season if all goes well. Several have estimated the 2014 franchise tag for offensive linemen as likely coming in around $11 million. How much will it be next year? As we sit here right now, I can’t see the Steelers tagging him.
The good thing about doing a new deal next season for Pouncey as opposed to this year is that his first year cap hit should be low. When you consider that a few players will be extended later this summer and that their second-year cap hits will be higher than their 2014 charges, it shouldn’t be hard to do.
We have a long time to wait until we likely will discuss this in more detail, but at least it appears as though we have a ceiling as far as Pouncey’s market value goes. It’s up to him now to show just how close to that ceiling he can get.