On Wednesday, Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Heath Miller and safety Troy Polamalu both had their contracts extended by two years and in doing so, they both took one for the team, so to speak.
While both deals are ultimately deemed extensions, in essence they both were merely run-of-the-mill contract restructures as neither of them reportedly received any new guaranteed money.
Normally, when a player has his contract extended there is new guaranteed money added to the money he was still owed on his existing contract. Sometimes that new money can come in the form of a signing bonus and other times it come in the form of a guaranteed, or partial guaranteed, base salary in the next year. In the case of both Miller and Polamalu, they both had good chucks of their 2014 base salaries they were scheduled to earn turn into signing bonuses. In addition, their subsequent base salaries in 2015 and 2016 are more than fair.
Sure, both players didn’t lose out as both could have been cut and would have likely had a hard time finding a team to pay them what they were scheduled to make, but by doing the deals that they did, both Miller and Polamalu aren’t guaranteed anything past this season. The Steelers of course hope they perform well enough moving forward and possibly play out their extensions, but we all know the chances of that actually happening are pretty slim.
Miller and Polamalu have both been the lowest profile players on the Steelers since each was drafted and I bet that’s hard to do being as every fan recognizes them on sight. Neither of them have ever come close to causing problems and while they don’t really say much when talking to the media, the things they do say usually is well worth listening to.
Current and future Steelers players can certainly learn a lot by studying the careers of Miller and Polamalu both on and off the field. Both will go down in history as all-time great Steelers players and they certainly both deserve that designation. These are a couple of good guys and the Steelers are lucky to have them.