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Steelers extend Maurkice Pouncey by five years


At a time when Dolphins center Mike Pouncey has made no secret of his desire for a long-term contract, his twin brother has gotten one in Pittsburgh.

Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey has agreed to terms on a five-year extension worth, according to a source with knowledge of the contract, a little over $44 million. Coupled with the remaining year of his rookie contract, Maurkice has a six-year, $48 million contract.

The deal pays Maurkice a signing bonus of $13 million. That’s more than the signing bonus paid last week to 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. And that should help the agents for young franchise quarterbacks make the case that Kaepernick deal isn’t the beginning of a trend but an aberration.

Thanks to non-guaranteed roster bonuses payable on the third day of the 2015 and 2016 league years, Pouncey will pocket $17.75 million by March of next year. He’ll have $23 million earned by March of 2016, and $26.5 million through the first three years.

Amazingly, the new money exceeds the package paid earlier this year by the Browns to center Alex Mack. Mack had signed a five-year, $42 million offer sheet in Jacksonville, which the Browns matched. Maurkice Pouncey’s $44 million over five comes roughly nine months after tearing an ACL -- and with a full year left on his rookie deal.

In new money, he’s the highest paid center at $8.8 million per year. The total deal, with the final year of the existing contract, averages just over $8 million.