By Scooby Axson
June 12, 2014

Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey missed 15 games last season with a knee injury. (George Gojkovich/Getty Images)

The Pittsburgh Steelers signed center Maurkice Pouncey to a five-year extension, worth $44 million, reports Pro Football Talk.

According to the report, the deal includes a signing bonus of $13 million and makes Pouncey the highest paid center in the NFL. He was set to make $3.863 million this upcoming season.

Pouncey, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, was selected in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft and has started all 46 games he has played in his career.

He missed 15 games last season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in his right knee in the season opener.

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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.

Thanks to non-guaranteed roster bonuses payable on the third day of the 2015 and 2016 league years, Pouncey will pocket $17.75 million by March of next year. He gets another $3.5 million in March 2016.

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