Steelers guard David DeCastro has a new contract, and plenty of new cash.
Per a source with knowledge of the deal, it’s a five-year, $50 million extension — the largest contract the Steelers ever have given to an offensive lineman.
He’ll receive $18.1 million in 2016 (he was due to make $8.07 million under his fifth-year rookie option), $16 million of which comes in the form of a signing bonus. With a roster bonus of $6.75 million due in March, DeCastro is as a practical matter due to pocket nearly $25 million in the next six months, unless the Steelers cut him after one season and let him hit the market with more than $18 million for 16 games.
The contract pays out $33.5 million over the first three years, the second highest amount ever given to an interior offensive lineman.
DeCastro’s contract, and the four years of performance that justified it, show that the Steelers finally have stabilized an area of weakness in past years. Then again, they won a pair of Super Bowls from 2005 through 2008 with subpar offensive line play.
The next step is to compete for Lombardi No. 7 for the team and No. 3 for No. 7 with an offensive line that will keep the team’s franchise quarterback from getting banged up.