That's about as plain as it gets. There are concerns with the deal. No team has ever paid this much money to a center, and while the $13 million signing bonus spread over the five-year extension would be tough to burden if Pouncey doesn't last that long, he doesn't have guaranteed roster money coming after the first year of the deal. Cleveland's Alex Mack has guaranteed roster salaries in the first three years of his deal. the open market. Mack is an outstanding center, and there are reasons to believe he's a better player today than Pouncey. One thing to remember with Pouncey, though, he's 24 years old right now (turns 25 July 24). The athleticism he has is rare for an offensive lineman, and it seems logical to expect him to continue to improve.
@NealCoolong u didn't need to write a column. Just a tweet that says: It Sucks— Roger Huffman (@rogerhuffman86) June 12, 2014
There are two sides to this. 1. Things as easy to define as "blown blocks" should serve as a telling indication of how effective a guy paid to block people is. 2. My opinion of a blown block will very likely differ from Mr. Kacsmar's and the good folks at Football Outsiders. As much as we want it to be, advanced statistics do not translate well to the game of football. People have been trying for years to objectify the sport, but every single statistic that comes out will ultimately come down to the subjective combination of statistics and interpretation. This isn't to say Pouncey is one of the best centers who has ever lived, but again, it's only fair to present both sides of this. He's also 24 years old. Outside of seasons on the IR, he's never played a season over the age of 23. It's about where he's going more than where he's been.
Maurkice Pouncey being an elite center is one of the NFL's biggest myths pic.twitter.com/pugkrLPW7B— Scott Kacsmar (@FO_ScottKacsmar) June 12, 2014
Therein lies the real risk, not whether Pouncey scored highly in advanced statistics. He's only missed three career games outside the 2013 season, but the injury suffered then isn't one easily healed by the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) Method. He tore the major ligaments of his knee, and quickness and speed are Pouncey's best characteristics. Without those, he wouldn't receive a $44 million contract. Of course, that only goes to show the Steelers believe he still has quickness and speed.
@Urunderarrest 5 years 44 million seems pretty cheap. Only question is can he stay healthy— PGHPiratesFan (@CrimsonTider74) June 12, 2014
With all due respect to Mr. Werder, there are few who follow the Steelers closely who will agree with that statement. It seems, though, there are wide ranges of opinion on this deal, and it will serve as a discussion point for a long time into the future.
Steelers regard Maurkice Pouncey their second-best player behind Big Ben R. Thus 5 yr, $44M extension making him NFL's highest paid center.— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) June 12, 2014