I really don’t get this move. When the Browns gave Alex Mack 5 years, 43 million earlier this off-season, I didn’t love it because it’s a lot of money for a center, but I understood it because Mack is probably the best center in the NFL. Giving Maurkice Pouncey 44 million over 5 years (with a 13 million dollar signing bonus), however, doesn’t make any sense. Pouncey is perennially overrated because of the public’s inability to evaluate a center (you can’t exactly blame them).
Pro Football Focus can evaluate a center as they evaluate players on a snap by snap basis, for every snap of a season. They’ve had Pouncey ranked 21st, 19th, and 12th from 2010-2012 respectively, including below average in 2010 and 2011. Meanwhile, Alex Mack has been in the top-10 in all 5 seasons he’s been in the league and John Sullivan of the Vikings has been top-3 in each of the last 3 seasons.
Not only that, but Pouncey missed essentially all of last season with injury, going down with a torn ACL week 1. I don’t understand the rush to give him this record deal right now. Let him come back for a season and prove the dominance he’s never shown before paying him this. I can’t imagine the Steelers would have had to pay him more than this as a free agent next off-season and if they would have had to, at that point it’s better to let him leave. This is a serious overpayment for a team with serious cap problems.