When the 2016 free agent signing period gets underway Wednesday evening, Baltimore Ravens unrestricted free agent guard Kelechi Osemele is expected to sign a five-year, $60 million contract with the Oakland Raiders. So, why is that potentially big news for the Pittsburgh Steelers? For starters, Osemele will be leaving Ravens but more importantly, there’s a slight chance he could alter the asking price of Steelers guard David DeCastro this offseason. Notice I said, “could.”
DeCastro, who had his fifth-year option picked up last offseason by the Steelers, is now scheduled to earn $8.07 million in 2016 as a result of that. In other words, that will be starting point as it relates to a new long-term extension that figures to get done at some point during the offseason.
Now, before we all get worried about how Osemele’s new contract might impact DeCastro’s new deal, we must first wait until we find out for sure what position the former draft pick of the Ravens will ultimately play as the Raiders might decide to let him replace left tackle Donald Penn, who might wind up signing elsewhere in the coming days as he is also scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent.
Should Osemele indeed wind being signed to play left tackle for the Raiders, DeCastro’s agent will then have a hard time arguing that his client is worth $11 or $12 million per season.
Currently, Arizona Cardinals offensive lineman Mike Iupati is the highest paid guard in the league as he averages $8 million a season. Assuming Osemele is signed to play left tackle for the Raiders, we can probably expect that DeCastro’s new deal won’t exceed $9 million a season.
Position played is everything in the NFL when it comes to market values so pay attention closely to the details Wednesday evening when Osemele signs his new deal with the Raiders.