Now that we know Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Mike Adams will finish the 2015 season on the team’s Reserve/PUP list, it means he won’t play at all in 2015. While Adams is currently in the final year of his rookie contract, he will not become an unrestricted free agent during the offseason due to stipulation in the CBA
Being as Adams spent will spend the whole season on PUP during his final year under contract, his 2015 season will be tolled, according to the CBA. What that means, according to former agent Joel Corry, is that Adams’ final contract year is now 2016 and it will be at the same salary he earned in 2015, which was $873,225.
Article 20, Section 2 of the CBA: Physically Unable to Perform: Any player placed on a Physically Unable to Perform list (“PUP”) will be paid his full Paragraph 5 Salary while on such list. His contract will not be tolled for the period he is on PUP, except in the last year of his contract, when the player’s contract will be tolled if he is still physically unable to perform his football services as of the sixth regular season game.
If you want some recent history when it comes to PUP players having the final years of their contracts tolled, you just have to go back to 2013 as the New England Patriots tolled the contracts of defensive tackle Myron Pryor and tight end Jake Ballard after both spent the entire 2012 season on the team’s Reserve/PUP list.
Should this indeed come to fruition, Adams will likely be back in training camp in 2016 competing for a swing tackle spot. This is pretty big when you consider that Marcus Gilbert, Alejandro Villanueva and Micah Hatchie are the only other tackles currently under contract for the 2016 season. Hatchie, however, really shouldn’t be considered a legitimate candidate to make the roster next season based on how he played this year during the preseason.
Additionally, it will be interesting to see what ultimately happens with tackle Kelvin Beachum, who had the final year of his rookie contract cut short by a torn ACL several weeks ago. Beachum is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent during the offeasson and once fully healthy, should have several suitors in free agency.
I will add to this post later on this evening, but for now, expect Adams back with the Steelers next season, assuming he’s able to recover from his back problem.