On the first day of the NFL’s legal tampering period in March, the Pittsburgh Steelers came to an agreement with quarterback Mitch Trubisky in the first few hours. Over time, details of the contract emerged to where it was known what Trubisky‘s contract and the effect on the 2022 salary cap looked like. With a $1.035 million base salary in 2022 along with a $5.25 million signing bonus, Trubisky I has a $3.66 million salary cap hit for 2022. With an $8 million base salary for 2023, Trubisky‘s cap number grows to $10.625 million in 2023.
It was also reported that there were up to $12.5 million in incentives in Trubisky‘s deal. With most of these incentives being tied to playing time according to reports, the exact scale was reported recently by Albert Breer of the Monday Morning Quarterback.
Looking at the full contract for Steelers QB Mitch Trubisky (details below), found a pretty interesting trigger in it. If Trubisky hits 60% play-time in 2022, there'll be a $1 million roster bonus due next March. If he hits 70% play-time, it's a $4 million bonus.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) May 6, 2022
More here ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/xoacHHm6je
In all, there are three factors involved with Trubisky’s incentives. They are:
- Percentage of offensive snaps played
- The Steelers making the postseason
- Trubisky being selected to the Pro Bowl
With the Pro Bowl incentive for each year being $250k, that makes $0.5 million of the $12.5 million accounted for. The main portion of Trubisky’s incentives come in the form of the percentage of offensive snaps played on a scaled system starting at 60% and increasing at 70% and again at 80%. There is also a large bump in the scale at 70% and 80% if the Steelers make the playoffs. In all, Trubisky could earn an extra $4 million in 2022 if he plays more than 80% of the Steelers offensive snaps and the team makes the playoffs.
It should also be noted that these incentives currently fall in the “not likely to be earned” category according to overthecap.com. If Trebisky hits any of these goals, the money he earns would count towards the 2023 salary cap.
What gets interesting is that if Trubisky hits the threshold of snaps played in 2022, it also kicks in a roster bonus due in March of 2023. According to Breer, the roster bonus is not guaranteed but would only come about if Trubisky is still on the Steelers roster at that time.
... And those roster bonuses for next March are NOT guaranteed. So they essentially would force the Steelers to make an early decision on Trubisky, and allow him to hit the market early in free agency if he's not going to be on the team.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) May 6, 2022
Smart for both sides.
So if Mitchell Trubisky plays 70% of the snaps for Steelers in 2022 and the team misses the playoffs, he will only receive a $1.5 million bonus for 2022. As for the roster bonus for 2023, it would be $4 million if the Steelers choose to still have Trubisky on the roster.
When it comes to the 2023 season, the scale for Trubisky’s bonuses are exactly the same as 2022. In all, this is what it would take for Trubisky to earn all of the extra $12.5 million in incentives in his contract:
- Play 80% of the Steelers offensive snaps in 2022 and the team makes the postseason ($4 million)
- Be selected to the 2022 Pro Bowl ($250k)
- Remain on the roster in March of 2023 ($4 million)
- Play 80% of the Steelers offensive snaps in 2023 and the team makes the postseason ($4 million)
- Be selected to the 2023 Pro Bowl ($250k)
If the Steelers end up paying Mitch Trubisky the extra $12.5 million over the next two seasons, it would be due to success of the team in both years. Even if Trubisky is the starter in 2022 and earns his bonuses, it would likely be due to so much success that he would be the starter again in 2023 after the Steelers used a first round draft pick on quarterback Kenny Pickett.
Whether Trubisky hits these milestones or not is merely speculation at this time, but at least Steelers fans now know the numbers.