Since he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft out of Florida, center Maurkice Pouncey has missed 34 regular season games due to injuries. No, Pouncey is not injury prone, he’s just very unlucky. Ever since the 2015 regular season ended, I have had multiple followers on Twitter and three emailers suggest to me that the Steelers should trade Pouncey. I’m here to tell you that’s not going to happen.
While Pouncey is scheduled to count $10.551 million against the cap in 2016 after he receives his March roster bonus, cutting or trading him prior to that would still result in an immediate dead money acceleration of $11.604 million. Do you see the problem here? Not only would they no longer have one of the top centers in the league, they would also be left with what his cap charge was already scheduled to be in 2016 plus $1.053 million more.
Will the Steelers restructure Pouncey’s contract this offseason in order to free up cap space? I’m willing to bet they won’t this year as they will be able to go to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and defensive end Cameron Heyward for restructures instead.
Get used to Pouncey being around a while.
While we are talking about the possibility of the Steelers trading players, you can forget about them dealing linebacker Lawrence Timmons and wide receiver Markus Wheaton as well. First, no team in their right mind would trade a pick in the first four rounds prior to the draft for a one-year rental player, which is exactly what both Timmons and Wheaton would be. On top of that, no team is going to trade for Timmons’ $8.75 million base salary that he’s scheduled to earn in 2016. Remember, the team will also likely receive a 2018 compensatory draft pick for Wheaton when he leaves via free agency next year. Besides, you don’t trade away cheap depth.
Could and should the Steelers trade kicker Shaun Suisham. While I fully expect them to try to trade Suisham late in the 2016 preseason, you have to wonder if they will ultimately be able to find a partner. Why? For starters, Suisham is coming off of a knee injury. Second, he’s set to earn $2.4 million in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Third, Suisham is already 34. Fourth, teams know that the Steelers will eventually have to cut him.