HEYWARD, BEACHUM TOP PRIORITIES FOR STEELERS TO LOCKUP BEFORE START OF SEASON
Now that Ben Roethlisberger’s new 5 year, $99 million contract is finalized, Cam Heyward and starting left tackle Kelvin Beachum are next in line to receive big extensions from the Steelers and Steeler officials have told the representatives for both players they are priorities to get new deals done before the start of the season.
Heyward, 25, the Steelers first round pick in 2011, is making $6.969 million this season and counting nearly $7 million against the cap for 2015.
Emerging last season as one of the best 3-4 defensive ends in football, a new deal for Heyward is likely to come in over $8.5 million per season on a five to six year term.
The franchise tag for a defensive end this season was $14.813 million with the cap rising for next season.
Steelers coaches believe Heyward is a key building block for a defensive unit in transition mode.
Beachum, 25, has become quite a find for the Steelers, emerging in 2013 as the Steelers full-time starting left tackle and graded out by ProFootballFocus as the 5th best left tackle in football this past season.
Beachum made just $570,000 last season and earned an additional $297,697 in performance bonuses. He’s due to make $1.542 million in 2015.
Last summer right tackle Marcus Gilbert signed a 5 year, $30.815 million contract, including a $7.65 million signing bonus and an annual average salary of $6.163 million.
Beachum a superior player and plays the more valuable tackle position, will likely be in line for an AAV of $7-$8 million per season.