Steelers make Maurkice Pouncey the NFL’s highest-paid center


Maurkice Pouncey (right) is getting paid in a big way. (Keith Srakocic / AP)

It isn’t just quarterbacks who are getting the big bucks. One guy who snaps the ball is getting paid, big-time.

Maurkice Pouncey and the Pittsburgh Steelers have agreed to terms on a five-year contract extension that makes him the highest-paid center in the NFL. Pouncey will get a signing bonus of $13 million on the new deal, which is worth a little over $44 million. Added to the last year of his rookie contract, he is signed for six years at $48 million. Pro Football Talk first reported the new deal and breaks it down further:

Thanks to non-guaranteed roster bonuses payable on the third day of the 2015 and 2016 league years, Pouncey will pocket $17.75 million by March of next year.  He’ll have $23 million earned by March of 2016, and $26.5 million through the first three years.

Amazingly, the new money exceeds the package paid earlier this year by the Browns to center Alex Mack.  Mack had signed a five-year, $42 million offer sheet in Jacksonville, which the Browns matched.

Pouncey gets a $13 million signing bonus, which tops the bonus the San Francisco 49ers game Colin Kaepernick by $1 million. The signing is less of a sure thing for the Steelers, though. Pouncey, a three-time Pro Bowl player, tore his his anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in the 2013 opener against Tennessee.

Still, he’s invaluable for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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