The man snapping the ball to Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh is locked in for the long haul.
The Steelers and center Maurkice Pouncey struck a five-year, $44 million contract extension, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday, according to a source who has seen the deal. NFL Media's Albert Breer adds that Pouncey received a $13 million signing bonus -- $1 million more than 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick received in his new deal. The Steelers later announced Pouncey had signed the deal.
ProFootballTalk first reported the news.
Pouncey, the No. 18 pick in the 2010 draft, had one year left on his rookie deal.
Now locked up through 2019, Pouncey is coming off a torn ACL he suffered in last year's season opener. The initial loss of their stalwart center left the Steelers' offense "shell-shocked" last season before the unit coalesced down the stretch.
One of the best centers in the NFL before his injury, Pouncey has been on the field for workouts this offseason and said he's had "no problems" with his knee.
Seeing Pouncey's health restored, the Steelers apparently had no problem locking him up for the rest of the decade.