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Steelers Cortez Allen earns Proven Performance Escalator

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The third-year cornerback didn't quite have the 2013 season many expected, but the door is still open for him in 2014 to earn a long-term extension with the Steelers.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It's an obscure rule, so we're thankful for Cash Stat Hawks like Brian McIntyre for keeping us in the loop.

Steelers cornerback Cortez Allen was one of those 35 players who earned a raise by playing in either 35 percent of his team's snaps in two of his first three seasons, or a cumulative total of 35 percent of all three seasons.

To whatever end it matters, Allen did both, and was expected to earn this raise this season.

His performance, however, was a tad under what was expected of him. He did add a touchdown off an interception - it ended up being a critical score for the Steelers in their 38-31 win over the Green Bay Packers in Week 16. The start to his season, however, was a far cry from that.

After getting torched by the Minnesota Vikings' passing offense in Week 4, Allen was eventually worked down the depth chart, being replaced by Will Gay. Both still played a significant amount of snaps, but Allen didn't show he was ready to be the high-level cornerback many thought he would after he ended the 2012 season so strongly.

He's still a young player, and he's in a contract year. He earned a nice raise from his first three seasons of work, but if he wants a shot a high-end money, he'll have to have a big 2014 season.