Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Markus Wheaton is scheduled to get a raise in 2016 thanks to the playing time he’s received during his first three seasons with the team.
Wheaton, who was drafted by the Steelers in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft, has played enough snaps to qualify for the league’s Proven Performance Escalator.
According to the CBA, any player drafted in the third round or later will receive an increase to his fourth-year Paragraph 5 Salary by reaching one of two qualifiers. The player has to participate in a minimum of 35% of his team’s offensive or defensive plays for either two of his three seasons or for a “cumulative average” of at least 35% of the offensive or defensive plays over the course of his first three years.
Wheaton is currently scheduled to earn $695,000 in 2016 but thanks to the escalator, his salary next season will likely be north of $1.6 million, which will equal the amount of the Right of First Refusal tender for Restricted Free Agents.
Over the course of the last few seasons, Steelers cornerback Cortez Allen and tackle Kelvin Beachum also received raises thanks to the escalator.
So far this season, Wheaton has caught 32 passes for 589 yards and 3 touchdowns.