The Steelers have exercised their fifth-year option on guard David DeCastro, locking him up for the 2016 season, according to Albert Breer of the NFL Network (via Twitter). Pittsburgh becomes the second team to officially pick up its fifth-year option on a 2012 draftee, on the heels of the Chargers exercising their option on linebacker Melvin Ingram.
DeCastro, who turned 25 in January, has established himself as one of the core pieces on the Steelers’ ofensive line, starting all but one game at right guard over the course of the last two seasons. Pro Football Focus (subscription required) graded the former 24th overall pick as the league’s 14th-best guard in 2013 – out of 81 qualified players – and ranked him 18th of 78 in 2014.
By picking up their fifth-year option on DeCastro, the Steelers will have him on their books for a salary of $8.07MM in 2016. That figure could eventually be adjusted with a contract extension, and won’t become fully guaranteed until the first day of the ’16 league year.