A week from Sunday the Pittsburgh Steelers will host the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field in their 2014 regular season opener and at that time the organization will more than likely stop negotiating contracts with players that are entering the final year of their current deal.
The most obvious player that fits the criteria of possibly getting a contract extension done between now and then is cornerback Cortez Allen, but team president Art Rooney II doesn’t sound optimistic about the two sides being able to come to an agreement.
“There’s probably a chance we’ll do one more contract,” Rooney told Scott Brown of ESPN.com. “I don’t know if we will get it done or not, but we’re pretty much done with the signing process as we’re heading into the season.”
Not getting a deal done with Allen prior to the start of the season would likely leave the Steelers with William Gay as the only cornerback under contract for the 2015 season, depending on what ultimately happens with rookie fifth-round draft pick Shaquille Richardson, who has been hampered by a knee injury most of the preseason.
Allen is currently scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent next offseason and unless given the franchise or transition tag prior to the start of the new league year, would more than likely test the free agency waters.
So far this offseason, the Steelers have signed center Maurkice Pouncey, kicker Shaun Suisham and tackle Marcus Gilbert to extensions. There’s still plenty of time for an extension with Allen to get done, but the two sides probably need to think about getting their final offers together.