Pouncey, who made the Pro Bowl in each of his first three NFL seasons, was entering the final year of his rookie contract, but the Steelers and Pouncey have agreed on a max of $44 million during the next five years that includes a $13 million signing bonus. Pouncey, whose signing bonus was slightly higher than Colin Kaepernick's, will make $14 million for the 2014 season.
He'll make a $1.75 million base salary in 2015, a $3.5 million base in 2016, and in the final three seasons he'll earn a total of $21.5 million. Pouncey also will receive a total of $7.25 million worth of roster bonuses in 2015 and 2016.
Pouncey played only one quarter of Week 1 last year before teammate David DeCastro accidentally dove into his leg, tearing Pouncey's ACL and MCL. But now Pouncey becomes the highest-paid center in the league, eclipsing the five-year, $42 million deal signed by Cleveland's Alex Mack last month.
In response to the news, there were two schools of thought about the extension.
Strong commitment by the Steelers to step up and reward Pouncey, who has been a huge part of their team since being drafted— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) June 12, 2014
And the other side ...
Steelers give Maurkice Pouncey a truckload of money a year after proving he's not worth that kind of cash.— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) June 12, 2014
And this ...
Maurkice Pouncey has never graded higher than 12th in PFF's Center rankings. Was improving, but long way still needed for that $— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) June 12, 2014