Pouncey: Chargers deal 'wasn't about the money'

COSTA MESA, Calif. -- In a time of year when a handful of players signed new deals for monstrous sums of money, Los Angeles Chargers center Mike Pouncey said he desired a new contract that would keep his family comfortable and satisfy his goal of chasing a league title.

Pouncey said that reasoning was the impetus for a one-year, $9 million contract extension that keeps him with the Chargers through the 2020 season.

"At this point of my career, this team gives me the best chance to win," Pouncey said. "I've built a relationship with a lot of guys on this team. For me to want to leave here in Year 10 and go somewhere else, it didn't make any sense to me, no matter what the number was in salary. I felt like whenever we got done with training camp and the offer was there, we jumped on it.

"It wasn't about the money to me. I've got a s--- ton of money [already] and I mean, to add a little bit more is awesome, but I just want to win now."

Pouncey, 30, went on to say that he's been smart with his money and it's not about that at this point of his career. According to Over the Cap data, Pouncey has made a little over $45 million in nine NFL seasons.

Pouncey said the decision to sign a contract extension with the Chargers was about finding the right fit for himself and his family and continuing to stay in a place with a winning culture.

Further, Pouncey told his agent, Joel Segal, to pursue a new deal with the Chargers, even though it potentially meant receiving less money with a chance to hit the market as an unrestricted free agent in 2020.

Pouncey also pointed to the fact that his twin brother, Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey, is in the playoff hunt ever season.

"I've seen where he's been at in his career," Mike Pouncey said. "He's always been on a good football team. They've always had something to fight for each and every season, So that played a big role in it, too."

A Pro Bowler in 2018, Pouncey signed a two-year, $15 million deal last season to join the Chargers in free agency after the Miami Dolphins released him in a cost-cutting move.

Being elected a captain this season -- along with Philip Rivers, Melvin Ingram, Thomas Davis and Brandon Mebane -- was important to Pouncey because he felt his reputation took a hit after being cut from the Dolphins.

"The only thing that had me kind of pissed off about when the Dolphins released me was the storyline that was out there," Pouncey said. "They were trying to change the culture, and I didn't have anyone come out and back me up as, 'He was different, he was a leader -- it was a money thing for him.'

"For me, it put a bigger chip on my shoulder. I wanted to come here and prove one man's trash is another man's treasure, and that's kind of how it worked out here so far."

Rivers, for one, is happy to have stability at the center position again since Nick Hardwick retired in 2014.

"I was fired up for Mike, fired up for us," Rivers said. "He's brought a ton to us, not only his play on the field -- which I think was reflected in being a Pro Bowler and just some notoriety as he should have gotten -- but just what he brings in the locker room. He has been great in the locker room and in the huddle."