Between now and the start of the 2019 NFL league year in March, we can probably expect Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to sign some sort of contract extension. In fact, Steelers team president Art Rooney II indicated as much this past week. Assuming that happens, the Steelers will also likely wind up extending the contract of his center Maurkice Pouncey as well, but later on in the offseason.
Pouncey, the Steelers first-round draft pick in 2010, will officially enter the final year of his current contract in March. Because of that, it’s not unfathomable to think that the center won’t be on the team’s short list of players they want to sign to extensions during the offseason.
Unlike Roethlisberger, Pouncey is not due a roster bonus in March so thus there should be no rush in needing to get him signed to an extension until much later in the offseason and quite possibly even after training camp gets underway. Pouncey should be easy to deal with once again when it comes to what would be his second contract extension of his NFL career as he’s previous stated multiple times that he’ll likely continue playing as long as Roethlisberger does.
With Pouncey only turning 30 years of age around the same time that the Steelers will report to training camp in July, he’ll be prime to receive a four-year contract extension at the minimum, which is the same length many speculate Roethlisberger will receive within the next eight weeks.
Pouncey’s current contract paid him a yearly new money average of $8,827,325 and while he singed that last extension back in 2014, he’s still currently in the top 10 highest-paid centers in league with Tampa Bay Buccaneers center Ryan Jensen topping the list at $10.5 million per season. In short, you can probably expect Pouncey to be the league’s highest-paid center come July or August with a new money average likely coming in at around $11-$12 million.
Pouncey is currently scheduled to earn a base salary in 2019 of $7 million and his salary cap charge is just $951,000 more than that. Assuming Pouncey is given a four-year extension that averages $12 million in new money, and when you consider that the center received a $13 million signing bonus as part of his last extension, he figures to be in line to receive around $14-16 million in 2019 total money as part of a new extension later this offseason. In short Pouncey’s 2019 cap charge might even drop as much as $2-$3 million by the time the ink has dried on his extension later this summer.
This past week, Pouncey, who was the only Steelers player to be receive All-Pro honors a few weeks ago, albeit second-team variety, was honored by the Pro Football Writers of America, selected to the 2018 PFWA All-AFC team at center for the second-straight year. He was also voted to the Pro Bowl this year, his seventh time being selected, and goes in as a starter.
Pouncey has nor missed a game due to injury since sitting out the entire 2015 season due a fractured ankle he suffered that preseason.