There has been talk about what the Pittsburgh Steelers will do with their upcoming notable free agents and whether or not they will extend them later this Summer or let them hit the free agent market. Heres making a case for each to be extended later this offseason.
Everybody is waiting to see the report saying Jason Worilds has signed a multi year deal with the Steelers. The Steelers have already made the mistake of overpaying a young outside linebacker, so they will be careful in their negotiations with Worilds. This guy has huge potential though, and only looks to be even better. Worilds paired with the potential loaded Jarvis Jones could pay its dividends if the two stick around together for a while. Out of all the notable upcoming notable free agents, Worilds long term deal with the Steelers is most likely to happen. Not worried about this one.
This is a big one. There has been lots of speculation lately about Pouncey getting an extension before Ben Roethlisberger. To be fair, it wouldn’t mean a thing if Pouncey got his extension first. He is one of the best centers in the league, and is only 24. He is coming off of a major knee injury so will probable come at a discount then he would have before. He is the outspoken leader of the offensive line, and you can’t teach leadership, especially at such a young age. The Steelers have learned their lesson about letting young players go, and Pouncey is just too good a player to let walk in free agency. An extension could very well happen later this Summer, and it should.
Heyward burst onto the scene in the middle of last year, and did he do it in a big way. Heyward was a backup at the beginning of last season, and was one of the best, if not the best defensive player by the end of it. The biggest reason to extend Heyward now is to get him cheap. Steeler Nation is expecting huge things from Heyward in 2014, and if he meets them, he could become too expensive for the Steelers to retain. If you extend Cameron Heyward now, you will get him a lot cheaper before he breaks out into a hot commodity for teams during free agency. He will come as a discount now. Extend him reap the benefits he will bring to the line at a discount. He is one of those young players that look like the future of the defense for the Steelers, especially the defensive line.
Cortez Allen had big expectations for the 2013 season, but didn’t quite live up to them. Still, big things are expected from him in 2014 and he will more than likely start opposite Ike Taylor. Giving Allen a modest extension now would be in the same boat as Cameron Heyward, if he breaks out, he could be too expensive for the Steelers too afford. The Steelers could save themselves some serious money if they extend both Allen and Heyward now. Some may say Allen needs to prove himself first, but if you give him a smaller contract now, it could pay off big.
Gilbert is probably the least likely to get an extension out of the players named above him. Gilbert struggled heavily at the beginning of last season, but like every other player, really picked up his play the second half of the season. If he could take this momentum into this season, the right tackle spot would be solidified. As of now, however, we aren’t sure if he will end up starting. Mike Adams can be a serious contender. This is really a make or break season for Gilbert, and I really don’t see him getting an extension, but if you gave him a little contract and he plays the whole season like he did the second half of last, it would make the Steelers look like magicians.
Will Johsnon is on this list because he is considered a starter and I am a huge fan of him. I truly believe if Todd Haley could get him involved more in the offense, he can become another dangerous part of it. I also think him and Le’Veon Bell can make a great duo together, along with Legarrette Blount. Will Johnson will not get an extension and won’t that big a threat to lose in free agency, but a new multi year deal would be a smart move by the Steelers when the season is over.
Let me know what you think about the article by leaving a comment!
Follow me on Twitter: @combs_14