Mar 5 2014, 5:51pm CST | by Poch de la Rosa
The Steelers' official website confirmed the development:
"The Steelers have signed two veterans, safety Troy Polamalu and tight end Heath Miller, to new three-year contracts that will keep them with the team through the 2016 season. Financial terms of the deals were not released."
"The Polamalu deal is for $20 million total and saves Pittsburgh $4.5 million against the cap this year, a league source told ESPN Insider Adam Schefter.
"Miller signed a two-year extension through the 2016 season that will reduce his cap hit for 2014 by more than $3 million, according to multiple reports.
"Polamalu and Miller each was entering the final year of his contract with respective cap hits of $10.89 million and $6.14 million, according to ESPN roster management.
"The Steelers were roughly $15.25 million over the cap after outside linebacker Jason Worilds signed a one-year, $9.75 million contract Tuesday."
To remedy the salary cap situation, Pittsburgh made some more key moves after securing the Polamalu and Miller contract extensions.
According to Ed Bouchette of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers released linebacker Larry Foote, cornerback Curtis Brown and offensive tackle Levi Brown. They also re-signed safety Will Allen to a one-year deal which most likely for the veteran's minimum.
Prior to the moves and after re-signing Polamalu and Miller, Pittsburgh had $8 million in cap space, per Bouchette. After making the roster cuts and re-signing Allen, the team upped its cap space to $15 million.
Bouchette adds Polamalu and Miller "took one for the team" when they agreed to their new contracts.
"They saved $6.25 million by releasing Levi Brown, $1.3 million by releasing Foote and maybe a couple hundred thousand by releasing Curtis Brown, who was to earn a $645,000 salary (but will be replaced on their top 51 salaries by someone earning $420,000).
"It appears both Miller and Polamalu took one for the team when they agreed to their new contracts. Miller received no new money to extend his contract by two years, and Polamalu may have done the same."
Polamalu sat out nine games in 2012 with a strained calf. His new offseason conditioning regimen helped him bounce back by recording two interceptions and 69 tackles during the 2013 NFL season. More importantly, he suited up in all 16 games "just for the third time in the last eight years," per The Associated Press' Will Graves.
Miller also had an injury issue of his own in 2012 after he hurt his right knee toward the end of that season, Graves adds. He amassed 593 yards on 58 receptions for one touchdown last season.
ESPN's Brown points out Polamalu and Miller are two of several Steelers, including quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who appeared in three Super Bowls for Pittsburgh between 2005-10. The Steelers won Super Bowls XL and XLIII.
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
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