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2012 Salary (Mike Adams): Four-year, $3.54 million contract with $1 million signing bonus
2012 Salary (Marcus Gilbert): $465,000
Don't the Steelers listen to Sandra Bullock?
Blind Side taught those who didn't already know that the quarterback is usually the highest-paid player on an NFL team and in many cases the left tackle is second.
In all likelihood, either Mike Adams or Marcus Gilbert will be responsible for protecting Ben Roethlisberger's blind side in 2012. Whoever wins the job will be underpaid, because neither is even close to being the second-highest-paid player on the team.
Gilbert was the Steelers' second-round draft pick in 2011, and Adams was their second-round pick this year. That, as well as the rookie wage scale, limits their earning power.
The rookie wage scale is a good thing. It prevents players from getting a check for the gross domestic product of Tonga before even stepping on an NFL field.
In this case, however, it allows the Steelers to underpay for the guy who has Roethlisberger's back.
The Steelers don't have to elevate their left tackle, whether it's Adams or Gilbert, to No. 2 on the payroll. Neither player should make more than guys like Troy Polamalu, LaMarr Woodley or Ike Taylor, especially since they're unproven at the position.
What Leigh Anne Tuohy didn't say is that allowing the left tackle to take up a huge chunk of the salary cap and going bargain basement on other positions isn't necessarily a formula for long-term success.
Look at the Browns.
But if there's any team that should place a little more value on protecting the quarterback, it's the Steelers.