The Pittsburgh Steelers have converted $8.26 million of injured linebacker Ryan Shazier’s $8.718 million 2018 base salary into a signing bonus which he will receive immediately, ESPN’s Field Yates reports.
The 25-year-old Pro Bowler started the first 12 games of the 2016 season for the Steelers before suffering a spinal cord injury against the Cincinnati Bengals in a tackle attempt. Shazier was placed on the physically unable to perform list on Wednesday, confirming that he will not play this upcoming season.
As it’s highly unlikely Shazier will ever play football again, the Steelers gesture to convert his base salary into a bonus is as generous as it is beneficial. Pittsburgh will enter the 2018 season without their bruiser in the teeth of the defense–last year, Shazier had 89 tackles, three interceptions, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in a Pro Bowl earning effort.
For those of you who missed it during last week’s NFL Draft, by far the moment of the event was Ryan Shazier walking on stage to deliver Pittsburgh’s first round pick.
Props to the Steelers for doing right by one of its most beloved players.