The Pittsburgh Steelers won’t report to training camp for five more weeks, but when they do, a lot of eyes will be on tackle Kelvin Beachum as it relates to a possibly contract extension for him.
Beachum, who was drafted by the Steelers in the seventh-round of the 2012 NFL Draft out of SMU, is entering the final year of his current contract and during a Monday interview on SiriusXM Radio, he was asked if he’s optimistic about getting something done contractually before the start of the 2015 regular season.
“I don’t know when that call is gonna come,” Beachum said. “It’s not the priority right now. My priority is my daughter and my wife. So i know when they’re ready to talk business, we’ll talk business. Up until then, I’m going to keep working hard and bettering my craft and make sure my kick-set is right and my punch is right when I have defenders coming off the edge.”
While Beachum’s future is most definitely up in the air right now as it relates to a contract extension, in all likelihood the Steelers will want to get the forthcoming extension with defensive end Cameron Heyward wrapped up first before turning their attention to their starting left tackle. Additionally, the team needs to plan ahead for a new contract for guard David DeCastro next offseason and the same goes for running back Le’Veon Bell as he will be entering the final year of his rookie deal.
Last offseason they signed center Maurkice Pouncey and right tackle Marcus Gilbert to new long-term deals and that has resulted in a lot of money already being tied up by members of their offensive line. While the Steelers could wait until next offseason to lock up Beachum, the only way they could do that without him first hitting free agency would be to use either the franchise or transition tag on him. Those 2016 tag amounts will both likely exceed $12 million, however, so it would be advisable to get an extension worked out now with him if at all possible at a much lower yearly average than the expected tag amounts.
Several in the Pittsburgh media don’t believe that Beachum will receive an extension prior to the start of 2015 season. My gut, however, tells me that something will get done as Beachum has already proven that he is more than capable of playing the left tackle spot in the NFL and he should only get better as long as he can remain healthy.