According to his agent, Jason Bernstein, Pittsburgh Steelers third-round pick Kendrick Green has signed his four-year rookie deal, meaning the team’s entire 2021 draft class is now under contract.
The Steelers selected Green No. 87 overall out of Illinois, with the expectation that he will be the long-term replacement for perennial Pro Bowler Maurkice Pouncey, who retired in February. In the short-term, though, he will compete for the starting center job with last year’s backup, J.C. Hassenauer, as well as veteran B.J. Finney, who returned to the Steelers in March after spending last season with the Seattle Seahawks and Cincinnati Bengals.
For what it’s worth, Pro Football Focus (PFF) is optimistic about the impact Green can have on Pittsburgh’s offensive line, ranking him No. 23 among 2021’s projected starting centers. “His athleticism and explosiveness should help kickstart Pittsburgh’s run game,” offers Ben Linsey of PFF.
While the financial details of Green’s contract have yet to be released, the total value of his four-year deal is expected to be $4,875,764 or thereabouts, this according to overthecap.com. In 2021, Green will earn a base salary of $660,000.
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Pittsburgh Will Have 5 New Starters on its O-Line in 2021
Meanwhile, the offensive line remains Pittsburgh’s biggest question mark entering the 2021 season, as the team is attempting to makeover the entire position group in one offseason.
Meanwhile, last year’s starting right tackle, Chuks Okorafor, is “penciled in” as the new left tackle, projected to take over for Alejandro Villanueva, who signed with the Baltimore Ravens in free agency. That gives Zach Banner another chance to establish himself as the team’s right tackle of the future, having missed almost all of the 2020 season with a torn ACL.
That leaves second-year man Kevin Dotson as the likely starter at left guard, slotting in for Matt Feiler, who signed a three-year deal with the Los Angeles Chargers in free agency.
Steelers Training Camp Opens Thursday
The Steelers will begin the process of establishing a new offensive line when training camp opens on Thursday, a camp that will be split between Heinz Field and the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.
The first open-to-the-public practice will be held at Heinz Field on July 28 at 1:30 p.m. The team will also host its annual Friday Night Lights event on Friday July 30 at 5 p.m.
Pittsburgh opens its 2021 preseason on Thurs. Aug. 5 against the Dallas Cowboys in the Pro Football Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio.
The only preseason home game is Aug. 21 against the Detroit Lions at 7:30 p.m.
Pittsburgh begins its regular season schedule on Sun. Sept. 12 at the AFC East champion Buffalo Bills. The home opener comes a week later against the Las Vegas Raiders.
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