With the Arizona Cardinals signing cornerback Justin Bethel to a three-year contract extension on Saturday, we now have a pretty good idea as to what a few Pittsburgh Steelers cornerbacks might be looking for at the conclusion of the 2015 season.
Bethel, who was drafted by the Cardinals in the sixth-round of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Presbyterian, reportedly signed a three-year, $15 million extension that includes $9 million in guarantees and another $1.8 million in incentives.
While we wait to see how the guaranteed money breaks down, knowing that Bethel has a new money average of $5 million a year is an easy number to work with. Also, when you look at his career numbers so far, you see that he’s only registered one career interception and five defensed passes.
Steelers cornerbacks William Gay and Brandon Boykin are both scheduled to be unrestricted free agents during the offseason and both will likely be seeing deals similar to Bethel’s, who has yet to even play 500 defensive snaps since coming into the league.
Gay’s three-year contract that he signed in 2013 totaled out $4.5 million and only $500,000 of that was guaranteed. While Gay could ask $5 million a season during the offseason, it’s doubtful that he gets it being as he’s now on the wrong side of 30. He could, however, get $3-$4 million a season over three years with $5-$7 million guaranteed from the Steelers.
As for Boykin, even though he hasn’t played much so far this season, he figures to get quite a bit of attention during the offseason. He’s already played over 1,500 defensive snaps during his career and has already registered 7 interceptions to go along with 33 passes defensed. In other words, he should easily be able to get money similar to what Bethel got on Saturday. He is not expected to re-sign with the Steelers, however.