Steelers Sign C Maurkice Pouncey To Extension
By Allen Kim
The Pittsburgh Steelers took an important step toward solidifying the future of their offensive line by signing C Maurkice Pouncey to a five-year, $44 million extension with a $13 million signing bonus that will keep the center under contract through the 2019 season. On the final year of his rookie deal, it essentially works itself out to $48 million over the next six years.
“We are excited to announce the contract extension for Maurkice to ensure he will be with the team through at least the 2019 season,” Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert said. “He has been the anchor of our offensive line since he was drafted in 2010, and we are thrilled he will be with us for many years to come.”
Pouncey is now the highest-paid center in the NFL, surpassing the contract of Cleveland Browns C Alex Mack. Mack signed a five-year, $42 million deal with the Browns in early April.
“I would like to start off and thank Art Rooney II and Mr. Dan Rooney, Kevin Colbert and Coach Tomlin,” said Pouncey. “It’s like a dream come true. I was just telling Coach Tomlin outside, it seems like five years ago all over again. I’m ready to start on this path and help this team get back to where we need to get back to, and I’m excited about the new adventure. This is really an awesome feeling, and words can’t really say enough about this.”
Pouncey made the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons in the league, and he’s been the anchor of Pittsburgh’s offensive line. However, he tore the ACL and MCL in his right knee in Week 1 last season, and he was forced to sit out the remainder of the year. The good news is that he’s a full participant in OTAs, and the organization clearly has no concerns over his knee to sign him to such a large extension.
“Words can’t explain that,” said Pouncey of the team’s commitment to him. “I’m just glad to be a Pittsburgh Steeler, to be honest with you guys … I’ll do anything for this team … I’m trying not to bust out crying, so it’s hard to really talk right now … The organization and the loyalty they showed with this new contract, it’s true love here.”
“I think it just reiterates what we all feel and believe, and that is we all believe in him,” said Roethlisberger. “We believe in his work ethic, the type of player he is, the type of person he is, and the teammate he is. He’s a great football player.”