I was going to start my article off this week talking about how glad I was to put my foot in my mouth from last weeks article. The Steelers secondary did not melt under the pressure of facing the “dream team” rather it flourished, which was a great sign for the upcoming season.
But instead of backtracking and apologizing to Steeler nation for ever having doubted Mr. Lebeau, let’s move on to some breaking news today that should make all Steeler fans extremely excited.
As of this morning, the Steelers signed linebacker Lawrence Timmons to a six-year, $50 million deal. The deal has the standout linebacker tied up with the black and gold at least through the 2016 season.
Up until now, Timmons was playing on his rookie contract, which he has outplayed by anyone’s standards. Timmons has become a rock in the middle of the Steeler defense, using his speed and freakish athleticism to cover a wide range of zones on the football field.
Entering his fifth season in the league, Timmons improved vastly in each of his previous years. Last season, Timmons combined for 96 tackles, and instantly caught the attention of opposing offensive coordinators.
Timmons was faced with high expectations upon being drafted by the Steelers in 2007. For starters, Timmons was the first draft pick of the Mike Tomlin era. Looking to make a splash with his first ever draft as a head coach, Tomlin took Timmons on pure upside, as Timmons had only been a starter in the Florida State defense for one season.
Many Steeler fans were still fuming at the time Timmons was drafted because Revis Island was discovered by the league just one pick before. After missing out on the hometown kid who has now grown to be arguably the best cover corner in the league, Timmons had to show he was the man for the job. He has absolutely done that, and then some.
In hindsight, it turns out the 2007 draft is costing the Steelers a hell of a lot of money, but I don’t think anyone in the front office is complaining. Earlier this summer the team signed LaMarr Woodley to a six-year $61.5 million deal……Woodley was taken in the second round after Timmons in 2007.
Now that the Steelers have locked down players such as Ike Taylor, Woodley, and now Timmons, it appears as though the Steeler’s defense will be strong for a long time into the future. There is one more big name on the defense who will require a contract extension in the future.
Reigning defensive player of the year Troy Polamalu is currently in the last year of his contract, and will become a free agent at the end of the season. With the Steelers investing so much before this season in many different players, I would be shocked if the black and gold could get another long-term deal done with Polamalu before the end of the season. The Steelers still have a number of option they could use to keep Polamalu with the team next year as well, but for now the team should be ecstatic with the future it has inked.