No one should say the Steelers are cheap.
A couple of weeks after working out a deal to keep LaMarr Woodley in Pittsburgh for six more years with a $61.5 million deal, Pittsburgh has re-upped Lawrence Timmons for five six years (PFT’s initial report got the years wrong). The deal is reportedly worth $50 million.
By signing Timmons now, Pittsburgh’s biggest remaining item on the to-do list for upcoming free agents is safety Troy Polamalu, but with Timmons re-signed Pittsburgh can also franchise Polamalu if they need to.
In the early 1990s, the Steelers were seemingly incapable of keeping their best free agents. Rod Woodson, Chad Brown and Leon Searcy were among the players who left Pittsburgh near the peak of their career.
Nowadays? Pittsburgh may lose a backup or a player on the downside of his career, but it’s hard to remember the last significant player the Steelers lost to free agency without some other backstory. Plaxico Burress is probably the best example, but in that case, Burress’ makeup played a part in the decision.
The Steelers have managed to keep Hines Ward for his entire career. Heath Miller will be a Steeler for at least 10 years, as he’s signed through 2014. Ben Roethlisberger is under contract until 2015. On defense, Aaron Smith, Brett Keisel and Casey Hampton have all become Steelers for life (or at least for 10+ years). James Harrison, Woodley and Timmons are all locked up for years. Ike Taylor joined the 10+years with the Steelers club with his new deal.
All in all, Pittsburgh has managed to keep everyone they’ve really wanted to keep since reaching the Super Bowl during the 2005 season. That’s a pretty impressive feat.