The Steelers are working on a contract extension for offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert, and an agreement could be reached as soon as this week, reports Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (via Twitter). Gilbert had previously confirmed that his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, was talking to the team about a new deal, though he wasn’t sure if it would get done this month or if the two sides would “wait it out.”
Gilbert, 26, has been the Steelers’ regular starter at right tackle since entering the league in 2011. Because he was a second-round pick, his rookie contract didn’t feature a fifth-year option for 2015, meaning he’s eligible for unrestricted free agency after this season. As such, he has a little more leverage, and the club will be a bit 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, non-elite tackles made out reasonably well on the open market back in March, and it wouldn’t be a surprise for Gilbert to sign a deal in the same neighborhood of the ones inked by Austin Howard, Breno Giacomini, and Michael Oher. Those three players will have annual salaries between $4.5-6MM on their multiyear pacts, with guarantees ranging from $6MM to $10MM.