Steelers Can Now Turn Attention To Polamalu And Timmons

The news came in this morning that the Steelers had signed franchised outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley to a 6-year, $61 million dollar contract extension and now they they can turn their attention to safety Troy Polamalu and inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons, both of whom are going into their final year under contract.

The Steelers can approach both Polamalu and Timmons in different ways should they choose and I should start by saying it is not out of the question that both could get extended over the next month, but I see it more likely that they will choose to lock up one now and let the other one wear the franchise tag next offseason. My best guess is that Polamalu will be the next on the priority list to get done and Timmons would be the likeliest option to wear the 2012 franchise tag like Woodley did this season. This would buy the Steelers a full year to work out an extension with Timmons next year as both James Farrior and Larry Foote are likely playing their final season in the black and gold in 2011. That is not written in stone mind you, but it certainly makes sense with all of the younger linebackers now on the roster.

Polamalu said recently that he would like to retire a Steeler and I could see the Steelers locking him up for another 4-6 years before the 2011 season gets underway. Polamalu will likely get paid a per year average of around $12 to $13 million a season. Just a guess. The Steelers like I mentioned earlier in the post could choose to go the other way and extend Timmons now and let Polamalu wear the tag next offseason just the same. I think it is safe to say at least one of them will be extended though by week 1, but I am not ruling out the possibility that both could.

The Steelers also have another high profile player that is entering his final year under contract and that is wide receiver Mike Wallace. Wallace however is scheduled to be a restricted free agent in 2012 and the Steelers will likely not be in a rush to extend him right now as they can place the highest restricted tender on him next offseason to buy time getting a new deal done. The high tender would cost a team that would try to sign Wallace a first and third round draft pick in 2013 and that is an extremely high price to pay even for Wallace.

  • A1JG

    Not to blaspheme or anything, but would it really be wise to lock up Troy for the long term now? Despite being a great player and a great guy, his health has been in question the past two years. Timmons is a must-have, as was pointed out in the thinning ILB corps. Seems to me that locking up Timmons for the long term ASAP makes more sense since that’s a known necessity. Troy’s older and his health may take a nose dive this season, not to mention that putting the franchise tag on him would essentially give another one-year look at him. Why rush a long term deal on the older guy with more physical question marks?

  • SteelersDepot

    As I mentioned it could go either way as there are indeed good arguments to make on why Troy should be last, but it sounds like they have started negotiating with him already. We shall see soon.

  • A1JG

    Indeed, we shall see. Good work as always, particularly on pointing out that Wallace will still be an RFA.

  • I couldn’t see Troy anywhere else. With that said I’d rather lock up Wallace and Timmons long term before getting Polamalu signed. Hopefully we have enough cap to do that before the start of the season.

  • Completely agree. It makes more sense to see how he holds up physically this season, before deciding how much money to commit to him long term.

  • Steve Duncan

    I think it makes sense to lockup Troy first. For one thing, he is without a doubt the most important player in our defensive scheme as it stand today. No other player in the ENTIRE NFL accounts for the same points drop that he does when he is on the field.

    Second, as good as Timmons is, we have seen before that LB is one of the easiest spots on our team to fill, partly because we scout the position well, partly because of scheme, and partly because we develop them the right way.