Pending free-agent cornerback Keenan Lewis is interested in receiving an increase in salary in his next contract, according to a report by Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Coming off a restricted free agent tender of $1.26 million from the Pittsburgh Steelers last offseason, Lewis was able to establish himself as a bonafide starting cornerback in the NFL and hopes that the compensation he receives in his next contract will pay him accordingly.
Entering last season, Lewis was not interested in receiving long-term contract offers because he was being primarily used as a nickel-back corner. Fully aware that this would decrease his value, Lewis focused on improving his game to earn more responsibility, as well as a regular role in the starting lineup.
After starting all 16 games in 2012, Lewis was able to solidify a role in the starting lineup and hopes his work will earn him the salary he hoped for:
"I was just a nickel back. I probably would have told them to hold up on the contract anyway because I wanted to really establish myself as a starting cornerback. I didn't want nickel-back money, I wanted starter money."