The Steelers are hoping to avoid the same fate as the 49ers last year when the league announced it was expanding the minimum age of players under contract from 18 to 21.
If the Steelers do sign a younger player than they did last year, they will be the first team to do so in at least five years.
The NFLPA is already considering a petition to change the league’s rules to allow players to be under 18 years old, which could potentially create a situation where a team could sign a player younger than 18 years of age who could become a free agent after the season.
If they do sign that player, the Steelers likely would need to pay him a significant signing bonus, something they have never done in the past.
The Steelers, who are on the road to the playoffs for the first time since the franchise relocated to Baltimore, are hoping their decision to sign their third-round pick from last year will help change the way the league treats its youngest players.
If the Steelers don’t sign a young player, it would leave them with a $7 million salary cap hit for the 2018 season and the possibility of losing a third of their roster.
The Steelers, however, don’t need to sign a lot of younger players to avoid losing significant money on their books, so they are hoping the petition will sway some of the fans they have in mind.
“I think the petition that we’re working on is very well received,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said.
“It’s a great way to try to change things in a positive way.”
If the petition gets more than 500,000 signatures, it will likely be sent to the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell for his consideration.
If it reaches the 2,000,000-signature threshold, the petition would then go to the owners and a new rule would be implemented.
Under the new rule, teams can sign younger players as long as they don’t have more than $7.9 million in salary cap space.
Teams must also sign their first-round picks to make sure they don.t get cut before the 2019 season.
If a team signs a player to a contract, it is expected to get paid $1 million for that signing bonus and $7,750 in per-game roster bonuses, per a league source.
The salary cap is expected be around $143 million for the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
The new rules will allow the Steelers to sign more younger players than last year.
If that’s the case, the team would be the youngest team to sign under the new rules since the 49er organization did it in 2007.
The 49ers were the first franchise to sign an under-18 player to its roster.
The league said last week it would increase the minimum salary for players under 18 from $5,000 to $7 of the maximum salary.
That would be a $4 million increase.
The minimum salary has been frozen at $5.25 million for five years now, so teams that sign younger than 17 players can expect to see that hit.
The draft is expected in 2018, with the minimum minimum salary set to increase to $11,500, but that would be in place until 2019.