The Pittsburgh Steelers began an early offseason by failing to make the playoffs after their Super Bowl title the previous season.
Questions began looming regarding what needs would be covered in the draft, along with some of the key players that would receive a new contract.
The biggest concern was defensive tackle Casey Hampton. Hampton has been one of the more dominating defensive lineman in football, being a part of the Steelers defense that has been near the top of the league for quite some time.
However, age has become a factor in Hampton, who in some shape or form has taken a step back this past season.
With that in mind, the Steelers needed to make a decision on Hampton: Was an extension in his future, possibly a franchise tag?
Or was it time to part ways?
However, the Steelers made sure Hampton was staying put for next season, along with the rest of his career.
Both sides agreed to a 3 year, $21 million contract for the veteran lineman.
I see Hampton still playing at the level Pittsburgh is looking for at least most of the contract.
The Steelers also gain time to groom a young defensive tackle via draft or free agency in the upcoming seasons.
Pittsburgh looks to return to the postseason after their disappointment last season, and keeping Hampton around will surely help that cause.
Matt Miselis is an NFL writer for BleacherReport.com.