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Maurkice Pouncey signs big extension with Steelers; May affect Dalton contract

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

The Pittsburgh Steelers played nearly the entire 2013 season without center Maurkice Pouncey, and that apparently helped them see his true value.

According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Pouncey is signing a new deal with the Steelers that will make him the highest-paid center in the league:

Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey has agreed to terms on a five-year extension worth, according to a source with knowledge of the contract, a little over $44 million. Coupled with the remaining year of his rookie contract, Maurkice has a six-year, $48 million contract.

Pouncey is an offensive lineman, so this shouldn't necessarily affect a team like the Bengals trying to extend their starting QB. However, this little nugget from Florio suggests otherwise:

The deal pays Maurkice a signing bonus of $13 million.  That’s more than the signing bonus paid last week to 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.  And that should help the agents for young franchise quarterbacks make the case that Kaepernick deal isn’t the beginning of a trend but an aberration.

In other words, this hurts the likelihood Andy Dalton and his agent will be willing to settle for a deal like Kapernick's.