Steelers' mail: Details of Pouncey deal

June, 17, 2014
Jun 17
7:00
AM ET
Here is the second part of the Pittsburgh Steelers' mailbag. If you have a question please send to ScottBrown_ESPN with #steelersmail.

And away we go ...

@ScottBrown_ESPN: The Maurkice Pouncey cap hits, according to ESPN Stats & Information: $5,000,625 in 2014; $8.1 million in 2015; $9.6 million in 2016; $10.1 million in 2017; $9.6 million in 2018; $7 million in 2019. Pouncey received a $13 million signing bonus and he has several roster bonuses that are, in effect, guaranteed money. The Steelers were actually able to lower Pouncey's cap hit in 2014 by a couple of hundred thousand dollars, and it looks like a good deal for both the team and the player. I'm a little puzzled over some of the criticism the Steelers received for signing Pouncey to the deal. @ScottBrown_ESPN: I have heard that the Steelers have not made an offer to Jason Worilds since he signed the one-year, $9.754 million contract they had to offer the outside linebacker when they used the transition tag on him. Does that mean the multi-year contract the Steelers offered Worilds before tagging him is their final offer? Could be. Although I think it would be crazy not to be open to further negotiations, especially given how thin the Steelers are at outside linebacker. I do have my doubts that the two sides will get a long-term deal done. The Steelers would love to lower Worilds' cap hit, but it is not critical that they do so since they are a little less than $6.7 million under the spending ceiling. The Steelers may want to see Worilds play at a high level for another season before offering him the kind of long-term deal he is probably seeking. It would be a risk since Worilds' value would really increase if the former second-round pick builds on what he did in 2013. But the Steelers could tag Worilds again next year if that happens and the two sides can't get a long-term deal done before the start of free agency. Not ideal for either side but the Steelers do have some protection when it comes to Worilds. @ScottBrown_ESPN: I will say 10-15 percent, and I don't see anything happening until right before the start of training camp or even during camp. As great as James Harrison was, the Steelers have committed to getting younger -- especially on defense. He is not a special-teams player at this stage of his career so this is one thing that would work against the Steelers bringing back Harrison. Also, would a five-time Pro Bowler be content in a part-time role and seeing limited snaps as the No. 4 outside linebacker? A significant injury at outside linebacker changes everything and could lead to the Steelers bring back Harrison. But right now I think it is a longshot at best. @ScottBrown_ESPN: Money won't be an issue since the Steelers are $6.694 million under the salary cap, according to ESPN Stats & Information, and that is with only one draft pick (second-rounder Stephon Tuitt) unsigned. The Steelers could bring a couple of players back on cap-friendly veteran minimum contracts but I can't see them signing more than a couple to fortify their roster. Defensive end Brett Keisel is the strongest possibility and maybe the Steelers sign a veteran running back or an outside linebacker to provide depth. But I don't see them making many roster moves prior to the start of training camp. @ScottBrown_ESPN: I don't think Harrison's return -- if it happens -- is tied to the calf injury that sidelined Worilds for most of organized team activities. The injury isn't serious and Worilds should be fine when the Steelers report to training camp. However, I think the Worilds injury reinforced how thin the Steelers are at outside linebacker, which is why they can't rule out bringing Harrison back or signing someone else to provide depth there. 

Scott Brown

ESPN Pittsburgh Steelers reporter

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