The trigger that has been talked about for sometime was pulled Monday, as the Pittsburgh Steelers and safety Troy Polamalu came to terms on a deal that will make him the highest paid Steeler in the history of the franchise. The deal is for four years, $30.19 and will keep him in black and gold through the 2011 season. “I didn’t want to be a player who is jumping from team to team,” Polamalu said to AP. “I’ve always felt comfortable here, I think this organization, this tradition they have here, is very legendary and I always wanted to be part of this.” The deal will also make the safety one of the leagues highest paid defensive backs.
Polamalu is the glue that holds the Steelers defense together, and with linebacker Joey Porter being shown the door in late winter, the Steelers signing of Polamalu became critical. Both sides moved quickly to get a deal done, and word broke last week that a deal was expected to get done as the team kicked off training camp. “I’m very happy to get this done. The Rooneys were very fair and I think both sides are very happy to get this done very peacefully and without any feelings hurt at all,” Polamalu said, referring to team owner Dan Rooney and president Art Rooney II.
Pittsburgh, two seasons after winning the Super Bowl, have undergone many changes, from Bill Cowher walking away, the retirement of one of their most popular players in Jerome Bettis, a .500 season following the Super Bowl, and now a new coach. Getting Polamalu in the fold will hopefully for the team signal a new direction as the team tries to reach the heights that they felt two years ago when they hoisted the Lombardi trophy following winning Super Bowl XL in Detroit. “Troy Polamalu is a very special football player who has been a key ingredient to our success over the past few seasons,” Art Rooney II said. “We are excited to know he will be a Steeler for many seasons to come.”