Now that Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward has signed his new long-term deal, the organization could very well decide to lock up another young player for an extended amount of time after the team arrives at Latrobe for training camp next Friday. That young player could and should be tackle Kelvin Beachum.
Beachum, who has been the Steelers starting left tackle since the fifth game of the 2013 season, is now entering the final year of his rookie contract. The SMU product and former seventh-round draft pick is scheduled to earn $1.542 million in 2015 and if not signed by the start of training camp, he will undoubtedly hit the free agent market next offseason unless the Steelers decide to place either the franchise or transition tag on him.
Should the Steelers choose to wait and tag Beachum next offseason, his asking price when it comes time to do a long-term deal would likely start at a more than $12 million a season. In case you forgot, the transition tag for offensive linemen this past offseason was $11.096 million. In short, if the organization believes Beachum is their left tackle of the future, they should get a deal done with him in the coming weeks.
So how much will it take to sign Beachum long-term? If you are like me and you believe that he is one the top 10 left tackles in the league, he will likely command a new yearly average between $8-9 million.
The new deal that right tackle Marcus Gilbert signed prior to the 2014 season averages out a $6 million a season when looking at the new money and the new money given to center Maurkice Pouncey last offseason in his new contract equated to just under $8.9 million per year.
In my opinion, signing Beachum to a new deal that averages $8.8 million sounds about right and I think his side would be good with that as well.
It is important to keep in mind that right guard David DeCastro and running back Le’Veon Bell will both be on the schedule for new deals next offseason and we’ll have to see what ultimately materializes with wide receiver Antonio Brown and his wants as well.
We’ll know over the course of the next six weeks what the Steelers think about Beachum because if a new deal is going to get done, it will happen within that time frame.
As I did with Heyward, I will be posting a projected contract for Beachum in the near future.