I don’t pretend to be a cap expert, but I’ve heard after signing all their draft picks the Steelers will have something like 6 million in cap space leftover.
I asked Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review yesterday in his chat if we could expect some of that to go to Pouncey or Worilds. He pointed out that any long-term extensions would hit harder down the road so cap space in 2014 is irrelevant.
However, in the past couple of days both Ed Bouchette and Alan Robinson have reported they expect the Steelers to start working on an extension with Maurkice soon.
I’ve had conversations with fellow writers here about the Steelers being wary of signing Maurkice to a huge deal due to some off-field controversy that’s surrounded Maurkice and his brother Mike.
While keeping their noses mostly clean, it’s clear at this point they make questionable choices in who they hang out with.
All that being said, I think if the Steelers want to work out a deal with Pouncey, now is the time to do it.
Maurkice made the pro bowl in each of his first 3 seasons (and 3 all-pro selections) before missing all of 2013 when David DeCastro accidentally dove into his leg in week 1.
While it probably doesn’t change a whole lot, Pouncey’s stock is down slightly right now coming off injured reserve.
What’s got everyone nervous is that Alex Mack just signed a 5 year 42 million deal with the Browns. Mack has only made 2 pro bowls and never been an all-pro selection; so Pouncey’s agent could reasonably argue he deserves more.
I think that this is going to be a hard guy to get under contract either way, but if Pouncey plays out 2014 and makes another pro bowl, or really just plays all 16 games at a reasonable level, he’s going to want 10 million per season.
It’s definitely a risk, but I think it’s sign him now or never.
Some have said Pouncey is overrated, which is valid, but not my opinion personally.
Some will point to his injury history, which isn’t as valid as I first thought. In his rookie season Pouncey started every game before injuring his ankle and missing the Superbowl. He would miss 2 games in 2011, and 1 game in 2012, before missing the entire season in 2013.
Missing 3 regular season starts in 3 years isn’t “injury prone” in my opinion, and the hit that DeCastro put on him was a freak accident that would’ve taken out anyone for the year.
In the past when the Steelers’ offensive line was a mess I thought we needed to extend Pouncey early on for a chance to make bring his brother Mike to Pittsburgh too.
I thought that maybe both of them would take less money to play together, but that seems unlikely given how good they’ve both been. Now though, the Steelers are pretty set at both guard positions.
As good as Maurkice Pouncey has been, I still think we some great talent around him and Mike Munchak’s tutelage I think he could still get even better.
The Steelers have gotten younger, which is a great thing, but to really compete for championships you need some young blood as well as some veterans in their prime, like Maurkice Pouncey.
A lot will depend on how badly Maurkice wants to be in Pittsburgh.