Now that the 2019 NFL Draft is underway, and the roster heading into the offseason is close to finalized—though always fluid—it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen happen over the course of the past few months.
A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasonings. In some cases it will be based on more long-term trends, such as an accumulation of offseason activity. In other instances it will be a direct response to something that just happened. So we can see a player more than once over the course of the summer as we head toward training camp.
Player: C Maurkice Pouncey
Stock Value: Up
There are two reasons for which I argue that Maurkice Pouncey’s stock value is up this year. One, and most obviously, he just got himself a new two-year contract extension that ties him through the 2021 season, and through his age-32 campaign, as he heads into his 10th year.
Two, he is coming off of his best season since 2014, the last time he made the All-Pro list before finally returning this past year. He suffered a significant fibular fracture in 2015 that involved a number of complications, and the next couple of seasons were marked with some inconsistency even if he was still named to the Pro Bowl.
But as far as I’m concerned, even the tape tells that Pouncey was better last year than he had been the previous two seasons, further removed from that severe injury, the second major, season-ending injury of his professional career.
It doesn’t hurt him, either, that he also has his fellow guards locked up for at least the next couple of years alongside him as well. Ramon Foster, who was a pending free agent, was re-signed to a two-year contract, while David DeCastro still has two more years on his deal after this season.
On top of that, Pouncey has also said that he would walk away when Ben Roethlisberger does. Roethlisberger just signed a new two-year extension, so they gives the center another couple of years to work with, if he intends to be true to his word in that regard.
The question is, will that be it? By the time he completes his current contract, he will have been in the league for 12 seasons, which is certainly plenty long for an offensive lineman. Granted, Mike Webster played for 17 seasons. Dermontti Dawson played 13 years. Hopefully he’s still playing at a high enough level by the time his contract is up where the question about continuing on is one that makes sense to ask.