THURSDAY, 10:19am: Gilbert received a $7.65MM signing bonus on his new extension, which is the only fully guaranteed part of the deal at this point, according to Brian McIntyre (via Twitter).
TUESDAY, 3:52pm: The Steelers have locked up one of the key cogs on their offensive line through the 2019 season, announcing today in a press release that right tackle Marcus Gilbert has signed a five-year extension. According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (via Twitter), the five new years on the contract are worth $30MM.
“It means I am locked in hopefully as a Steeler for the rest of my career,” Gilbert said of his new deal. “It’s a blessing to work for a great organization, the Rooney family, Kevin Colbert and Coach [Mike] Tomlin. Just to be around in Pittsburgh, where they show you so much love, I couldn’t be happier and in a better place.”
We heard earlier this month that the Steelers and agent Drew Rosenhaus were negotiating a new deal for Gilbert, with the intention of either getting something done by September or waiting until after the season. The 26-year-old has been the Steelers’ regular starter at right tackle since entering the league in 2011. Because he was a second-round pick, Gilbert’s rookie contract didn’t feature a fifth-year option for 2015, meaning his free agency was looming and the club was likely a little more motivated to work something out.
As our Rory Parks pointed out when he examined Gilbert as an extension candidate in June, the young tackle hasn’t been exceptional during his stint with the Steelers, at least according to Pro Football Focus’ metrics. Still, as I noted last week, non-elite tackles like Austin Howard, Breno Giacomini, and Michael Oher made out reasonably well on the open market back in March.
Based on the initial numbers reported, Gilbert’s extension looks awfully similar to the contract Howard signed with the Raiders. That deal was also worth $30MM over five years, though before we can determine exactly how they stack up, we’ll need to know the structure of Gilbert’s contract. Howard’s pact included $9.9MM in fully guaranteed money, including a $7MM up-front bonus.
Gilbert is the latest Steeler to sign an extension in what has been a busy summer for the team. Center Maurkice Pouncey inked a new deal of his own back in June, and the club also secured kicker Shaun Suisham to a long-term contract earlier this month. Jason Worilds is among the potential 2015 free agents who could still try to get something done with Pittsburgh before the season begins, but according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (via Twitter), despite some conversations, the two sides aren’t close to an agreement at this point.
With a handful of players who had been eligible for 2015 free agency now locked up, the Steelers will soon be able to shift their focus to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who is expected to discuss an extension with the team after the season. Roethlisberger is currently under contract through the 2015 season.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports.