The Pittsburgh Steelers stated that they will wait to re-sign players with expiring contracts before focusing on locking up star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger long-term, as Roethlisberger still has two years left on his deal. There were some bizarre rumors floating around during the regular season that were related to Big Ben, but it’s clear that the top-ten QB would like to remain in Pittsburgh, and the Steelers will do just about whatever it takes to keep their most important player long-term. An extension isn’t expected to be hammered out until next offseason, and it would be a surprise for Roethlisberger to go into the 2015 season with an expiring contract.
For now, the Steelers are looking at the likes of Jason Worilds and Cortez Allen, wondering when they should extend these key role players on defense. According to Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the team wants to extend Allen before the start of the season, and he predicts that a new deal will get done. In fact, Kaboly states that the Steelers “don’t have much of a choice”, especially since they can’t afford to lose their best cornerback outside the numbers.
After recording 55 tackles and ten passes defended in 2012, Allen had 51 tackles and 13 passes defended in his third season in the league. He and nickel corner William Gay were the team’s two best CBs last season, and even though former star Ike Taylor is still the team’s No. 1 corner, it’s clear that Allen is their best non-slot corner. The Citadel product is just 25 and set to make a meager $645,000 in the final year of his deal, so he deserves a nice bump-up in salary and a long-term contract. There’s a chance Allen could explode in the future due to his young age, but he’s still a valuable player to this organization if he “only” remains a solid starter in this league.
Kaboly’s strong belief that the Steelers will extend Allen shouldn’t be taken lightly, and a deal would most likely come before the season if the Steelers are indeed serious about locking him up. Not only does it behoove them to extend him as quickly as possible, but the Steelers also don’t want to negotiate with him during the regular season (it’s a distraction). Allen stated that he hasn’t been approached with talks of an extension yet, but it looks like we should expect that to change.