Last offseason the Pittsburgh Steelers picked up the fifth-year option on the rookie contract of guard David DeCastro and because of that it’s a forgone conclusion that the team will work out a long-term extension with the former first-round draft pick prior to the start of the 2016 regular season. On Tuesday, DeCastro talked to the media and the Stanford product admitted that preliminary contract extension talks have already started.
“Yeah a little bit, it’s there,” said DeCastro, who was named a Pro Bowler and first-team All-Pro for the first time during his young career last season, in an interview that was aired on Steelers Nation Radio. “That’s what you usually do. We’ll see how it goes. That’s why you have the agent, you let them do their thing and you go from there. I’ve got a year left and I’m going to make that the best year possible.”
While DeCastro did admit that he tries hard to separate himself from his current contract situation, the thought does enter his mind occasionally.
“Yeah, you get updates but it’s one of those things I’m not really worried about,” said DeCastro. “You think about it, obviously, but I’ve got a year left and I want that year to be the best as possible, that’s all I’m really working on.”
Being as the Oakland Raiders made Kelechi Osemele the highest paid guard in the NFL during the offseason when they signed him to a five year, $58.5 million contract, it’s hard to imagine that DeCastro’s forthcoming new extension will ultimately eclipse that $11.7 million yearly average. However, being as the Steelers guard is now scheduled to earn $8.07 million in 2016 after having his fifth-year option picked up last offseason, he’s probably a lock to ultimately become the second-highest paid guard in the NFL later on in the summer.
Earlier this offseason I projected that DeCastro will ultimately sign a five-year extension worth $50 million that will include just under $42 million in new money. That new money average, based on my projection, would be roughly $8.386 million a season. While that projection might be a little low now that Osemele has his new deal in place, I can’t see DeCastro’s new deal averaging much more than $9 million a season when it comes to the new money given to him. We’ll see and such an extension should indeed take place in the coming weeks or months.
In the meantime, DeCastro will continue to hone his craft during the remainder of the offseason and that will include him receiving some tutelage from former Steelers guard Alan Faneca, who is working with the team this year as a coaching intern. It goes without saying that DeCastro is happy to have the future Hall of Famer around this summer.
“It’s awesome,” said DeCastro. “First of all, it’s a guy that you watched growing up. A little star-struck, a little like, this guy you love watching him on tape. What a player, his resume speaks for itself, but yeah, having two Hall of Fame guys in the room is awesome and it’s pretty hard to beat that.”
DeCastro wears No. 66 with the Steelers and that’s the same number Faneca wore several years when he was in Pittsburgh. He was asked about the responsibilities that come with that on Tuesday.
“It’s hard not to think about it as you loved watching him play,” said DeCastro. “It’s big shoes to fill and I never worry about being as good as him, you just try to be the best you can.”
So what has DeCastro learned from Faneca so far this offseason?
“Just little stuff,” said DeCastro. “I think you’re still trying to get him situated getting used to the room but he’s a lot of fun and a good guy and obviously he’s helping out a lot.”