Steelers RT Marcus Gilbert said his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, spoke with the team’s front office last week to open “preliminary/exploratory” contract discussions.
“Hopefully that’s what talks are going on between my agent and upstairs with Kevin Colbert, but it’s not in my hands,” Gilbert said, via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. “I need to worry about one thing. That’s why I pay Drew.”
Fowler notes that Gilbert’s $6 million annual salary over the past five years ranks No. 11 among right tackles, while Steelers OC Todd Haley mentioned that he thinks Gilbert is the league’s “premier” right tackle.
Gilbert went on to say that he is focused on playing at a high level and hopes to be rewarded for it.
“Of course, as a player you like to say you don’t look at the numbers — saying that is complete BS,” Gilbert said. “But at the same time, you have to go play like you’re worth it. Until they reward you, you have to continue to show that. My thing is, as long as I want to continue to be here, I have to do whatever it is on the field to get better and better every year. That’s my whole focus, just being here, being the best right tackle in the game.”
Gilbert, 29, is a former second-round pick of the Steelers back in 2011. He is currently entering the fourth year of his six-year, $30.815 million contract that included a $7.65 million signing bonus and was set to make a base salary of $3.95 million for 2017.
In 2016, Gilbert appeared in 13 games for the Steelers and was rated by Pro Football Focus as the No. 11 offensive tackle out of 76 qualifying players.