The Pittsburgh Steelers will kick off their 2016 regular season a week from Monday night against the Washington Redskins and that means the organization now has just over a week to get guard David DeCastro signed to a long-term contract extension. On Saturday, the Chicago Bears signed guard Kyle Long to a lucrative contract extension and as a result of that, it will be interesting to see what bearing, if any, it ultimately has on the Steelers ongoing negotiations with DeCastro.
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Bears signed Long to a four-year, $40 million contract extension that included $30 million in guaranteed money. Long entered Saturday with two-years remaining on the four-year, $8,300,952 contract that he signed in May of 2013.
On the surface, it appears as though Long’s new money yearly average is $10 million, but we really won’t know for sure until all of the exact contract details surface. If indeed that does wind up being his new money yearly average, then one can easily expect DeCastro and his agent to want his new contract to come in at a little higher than that at the very least.
Currently, DeCastro is scheduled to earn $8.07 million in 2016 after having his fifth-year option picked up by the Steelers over a year ago. Because of that, it’s easy to speculate that the guard and his agent were already shooting for a new money average of more than $10 million and especially being as Oakland Raiders guard Kelechi Osemele is currently the highest paid player in the league at his position after signing a five year, $58.5 million unrestricted free agent contract this past March.
In short, outside of the percentage of guaranteed money that Long received Saturday from the Bears, which we really still don’t know the specifics of as it relates to full and injury guarantees, I really don’t think that signing will have much bearing on the Steelers extension talks with DeCastro. Luckily, we only have a little over a week to go to find out if the Stanford product and former first-round draft pick will have a new deal in place before the start of the regular season.
This past week, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported during his weekly online chats that the Steelers were close to getting an extension done with DeCastro, so read into that what you will. Should the team ultimately be unable to work out an extension with DeCastro in the upcoming week, he would then join running back Le’Veon Bell as being a potential candidate to receive either the franchise or transition tag during the offseeason.