Two of the best players to don a Pittsburgh Steelers jersey over the past decade will remain in black and yellow for at least the next three years.
Both safety Troy Polamalu and tight end Heath Miller have made a name for themselves with their gritty style of play that resonates with the city of Pittsburgh. Burt Lauten of Steelers.com confirmed the reports on Twitter Wednesday that the team signed both players to new deals:
Adam Schefter of ESPN provides financial details of the contract:
Steelers gave S Troy Polamalu a three-year, $20 million extension that saves Pittsburgh $4.5 million against the salary cap this year.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 5, 2014
Polamalu commented on the deal:
I am thankful and blessed to be in a position to play my entire career in Pittsburgh— Troy Polamalu (@tpolamalu) March 5, 2014
ESPN.com reported Tuesday that the Steelers were attempting to rework Polamalu's contract, but no specific numbers were given.
Field Yates of ESPN points out why the new contracts are such a huge deal for the Steelers during the offseason:
Over the years, Polamalu has made his presence felt through his hard-hitting, high-flying defensive play that has become a part of Pittsburgh's identity on the field.
Back in January, Steelers team president Art Rooney made it very clear that he didn't plan to allow Polamalu to leave for another team, per Scott Brown of ESPN.com:
We would very much love to have Troy retire as a Steeler and expect that he will. He's obviously been one of the great Steelers of all time. ...
... The great thing about this past season as far as Troy was concerned was that he played all 16 games. That's very helpful for us when we have a player like Troy who's able to stay healthy and play start to finish.
Even in his 11th season with the team in 2013, Polamalu registered the most forced fumbles in his career with five, had two interceptions, 11 passes defended and seven tackles for loss.
Can the Steelers win another Super Bowl with Polamalu and Miller?
Along with Polamalu, Miller has become a part of the identity for the Steelers over the years. But much like Polamalu, his age started to become a factor. Still, in his ninth season, Miller finished with 58 receptions for 593 yards and a touchdown in 2013.
With the duo locked up for the foreseeable future, the Steelers now know they have two of the best at the position for the next three years and can look to build around them to make it back to the playoffs.
After missing out in 2013, Pittsburgh has the players on both sides of the ball to make a run at the postseason. And with a few impact selections in the 2014 NFL draft like Le'Veon Bell from last season, both Polamalu and Miller might be able to help the city win one more ring.
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