Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey agrees to 3-year deal worth $11 million per season
Amidst an offseason where the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to lose Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, they have extended star center Maurkice Pouncey.
The news was broken by ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
Steelers and Pro-Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey have agreed to a three-year deal, averaging $11 million a year, making him the NFL’s highest-paid center, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 7, 2019
As the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero notes, Pouncey is getting a $4 million addition to the $7 million he was scheduled to make in 2019, as well as $11 million for the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
Signing the center long-term was probably made a priority at an early stage.
Since joining the team in 2010, Pouncey has made seven Pro Bowls and has been named a first-team All-Pro twice. The only season he didn’t make the Pro Bowl was in 2013—the year he tore his ACL.
Pouncey has been a mainstay on the Steelers offensive line—starting in 108 games. His elite level of play is crucial to the success of the Steelers offense.
With Ben Roethlisberger nearing the end of his career, it is important for the Steelers to get everything they can out of him by protecting him. Keeping Roethlisberger’s long-time center will do just that.
Paying Pouncey will cost the Steelers a bit of money though after they refused to sign Bell to a reasonable long-term deal.
Offensive linemen are viewed as harder to replace in the NFL, though. The play of James Conner sans Bell in the Steelers offense showed us just that.
The Steelers have a few needs this offseason, but signing Pouncey is a bright beginning to a crucial offseason. Pittsburgh faithful can breathe a brief sigh of relief for the time being with this deal.
Now, Steelers fans head into the weekend awaiting the fate of their All-Pro wide receiver, Antonio Brown.