Steelers training camp preview: 4 money-related questions | TribLIVE.com
Steelers/NFL

Steelers training camp preview: 4 money-related questions

Joe Rutter
1395463_web1_gtr-steelers02-042619
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert could receive contract extensions this summer.

Not all training camp questions pertain to matters on the field.

Historically, the Pittsburgh Steelers use August and early September to take care of “future business,” which is getting their financial house in order for beyond the upcoming season.

It is the time of year the Steelers dole out new contracts to players, coaches and front-office members alike. Here are four financial questions that could be addressed once training camp begins Thursday at Saint Vincent:

1. Will Mike Tomlin, Kevin Colbert get extensions?

The Steelers traditionally have extended the contract of their coach when he has two seasons remaining on his deal. Tomlin got his latest two-year extension in August 2017, and he is due to be renewed again this summer.

Tomlin’s contract runs through the 2020 season.

Team president Art Rooney II told reporters in January that any decision made regarding Tomlin wouldn’t take place until after free agency and the draft. The time is approaching for Tomlin’s fate beyond 2020 to be determined.

Colbert had two years added to his deal at the end of August 2017. His contract expires after the 2020 draft, so he also is in line for an extension.

•••

2. Will any members of 2016 draft class get second contracts?

Using their self-imposed deadline, the Steelers have until Sept. 8 to get their impending free agents signed to long-term deals. Starters from the 2016 draft class who are scheduled to hit free agency in March are free safety Sean Davis and nose tackle Javon Hargrave. Another candidate is linebacker Tyler Matakevich, a core special teams player.

Davis switched agents, aligning himself with Drew Rosenhaus, the most high-profile member of his profession. Determining value for Davis could be difficult because he has started only one season at free safety after opening the previous two seasons as a slot corner and strong safety, respectively. With Rosenhaus in Davis’ corner, the price tag might be too high for the Steelers’ liking.

Hargrave also represents an interesting case. He has started three seasons at nose tackle, but he often leaves the field in subpackages, which the Steelers play almost 75 percent of the time on defense. Hargrave never has logged more than 47 percent of the defensive snaps in his three seasons, and the Steelers could be reluctant to give a big contract to a part-time player.

•••

3. Will Joe Haden get a new deal?

When the Cleveland Browns surprisingly cut their veteran cornerback late in the 2017 preseason, the Steelers quickly swooped in and signed Haden to a three-year, $27 million deal.

It might seem hard to believe, but Haden is entering the final season of that contract, and he is a prime candidate for an extension. A new contract would help the Steelers in two areas: it would lock up their dependable cornerback for multiple seasons, and it would help them lessen his cap hit. Haden has a $10 million base salary and will count $11.9 million against the salary cap this season barring an extension.

•••

4. Will Mike Hilton report to camp on time?

In mid-June, Hilton told the Tribune-Review the thought of holding out “hasn’t even crossed my mind.”

As the reporting date approaches, could Hilton’s tune change?

Because he has not signed his $645,000 exclusive rights tender, Hilton remains the team’s only unsigned player. Hilton is following in the footsteps of offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva, who didn’t sign his tender in 2017 and received a four-year, $24 million contract on the day players reported to Saint Vincent.

Hilton also is seeking a long-term contract, but he doesn’t hold the leverage that Villanueva did two years ago. Like Davis, Hilton changed representation and is being advised by Rosenhaus.

Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Steelers
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.