Five weeks from today the 2019 NFL league year will begin and the first week of it includes the Pittsburgh Steelers being scheduled to pay out $15.4 million in total in roster bonuses to five different players. While many of these roster bonus amounts and due dates have long been known, there might have been a few questions on a few others. Thanks to a great Thursday morning post by former NFL agent Joel Corry of CBS Sports that recaps the league-wide important contract dates of several players, we have a great snapshot of which Steelers players are due what and when. Below is recap of the Steelers players who are due roster bonuses during the first week of the 2019 NFL league year and the specific amounts and dates for each.
QB Ben Roethlisberger – ($5 million roster bonus due March 15 (third day of 2019 league year) – While Roethlisberger is officially due his 2019 roster bonus on March 15, his expected forthcoming contract extension that should be completed around his March 2 birthday should take care of that. The $5 million roster bonus that Roethlisberger is due, along with a good portion of the $12 million base salary he’s currently scheduled to earn in 2019, will more than likely be rolled into one large signing bonus as part of his new and expected contract extension.
ILB Vince Williams – ($2.9 million roster bonus due March 15 (third day of 2019 league year) – Williams, who signed a three year, $18.6 million contract extension with the Steelers last August, his due a $2.9 million roster on the same day Roethlisberger is due is. While the Steelers former sixth-round draft pick out of Florida State did miss two games in 2018 due to injuries, he still managed rto come close to setting a new career-high in tackles in addition to registering 4.5 sacks, one interception and two passes defensed. Along with the $2.9 million roster bonus he’s due in March, Williams is also scheduled to earn a base salary in 2019 of $2.2 million and his salary cap charge is set to be $6.7 million.
K Chris Boswell – ($2 million roster bonus due March 15 (third day of 2019 league year) – Just like Roethlisberger and Williams, Boswell is also due his $2 million roster bonus on the third day of the new league year after signing a four year, $16.8 million contract extension with the Steelers last August. Despite his disastrous 2018 kicking season that ended with him being placed on the team’s Reserve/Injured during the final week reportedly with a grade-2 groin tear, there’s no reason to think that Boswell be cut before being paid the roster bonus he’s due. Even Steelers team president Art Rooney II hinted that Boswell will remain with the team through at least training camp when he held his annual end-of-the-season media sessions several weeks ago. The Steelers will pay Boswell his bonus and hope that he can rebound during the offseason while being pushed by another kicker.
DE Stephon Tuitt – ($3 million roster bonus due March 17 (fifth day of 2019 league year) – A few days after the roster bonus due dates of Roethlisberger, Williams and Boswell, Tuitt will be due his $3 million roster bonus. With Tuitt also currently scheduled to earn a base salary in 2019 of $6 million, he’d be a perfect candidate in the next five weeks to have his contract restructured should the Steelers decide they’ll need an even larger extra surplus of salary cap space this season. Restructuring Tuitt’s contract to the maximum allowed prior to March 17 would clear $6,146,250 in 2019 salary cap space. Such a restructure isn’t guaranteed to happen, but don’t be shocked if it does. We’ll likely know for sure if it has been restructured within the next five weeks. One year ago this week is when the Steelers last restructured Tuitt’s contract.
WR Antonio Brown – ($2.5 million roster bonus due March 17 (fifth day of 2019 league year) – If you weren’t already aware by now that Brown is due a $2.5 million roster bonus on the fifth day of the new league year, welcome back from your coma. With Brown’s current status with the Steelers being very tenuous, the team might decide they want to rid themselves of him this offseason via a trade. If that winds up being the Steelers plan with Brown, and they can find a team willing to trade for the wide receiver, the ideal time to deal him would be within the first five days of the new league year so that the acquiring team would be on the hook for the $2.5 million roster bonus he’s due on March 17. If the Steelers hold on to Brown through March 17 and trade him at a later offense date, however, they would need to eat that roster bonus as dead money.