The Steelers made it clear the other day that they want to address some of their more immediate expiring contacts before focusing on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s deal.
The team wants to sign cornerback Cortez Allen to an extension before their self-imposed deadline of the start of the season.
Allen is in the final year of his rookie contract, and with a unit void of any up-and-comers, Allen should be priority No. 1 for the Steelers.
The Steelers have approximately $6.5 million under the salary cap, which would be plenty to sign Allen to a long term deal.
If an extension is on Allen’s mind, he isn’t letting on.
“That’s not my concern right now. Football is my concern,” Allen said. “I am just trying to help the team win games. That stuff will take care of itself. I don’t focus on it too much.”
When asked if the team has approached him with any contract extension information yet, Allen said: “Not as far as I am concerned.”
The Steelers could also target linebacker Jason Worilds for a long term deal before the season that would actually alleviate them of some cap money. Worilds agreed to a transition tag in March that guarantees him nearly $10 million for this season.
However, the Steelers seem to be willing to wait to see when it comes to Worilds. With Allen, the Steelers likely have learned a lesson two years ago when Keenan Lewis wasn’t offered a contract heading into his final season.
After a solid year in 2012, Lewis signed a lucrative contract with New Orleans last offseason.
Allen deflected the question of if he wanted to get a deal done before the start of the season.
“I am not 100 percent sure,” Allen said. “That’s an organization decision.”
My take? Allen will get an extension before the start of the season.
The Steelers really don’t have much of a choice.