The Steelers opened the vault over the last month.
They paid big money to retain cornerback Ike Taylor and tackle Willie Colon. They paid even bigger money to give monster extensions to linebackers Lawrence Timmons and Lamarr Woodley. The vault is now closed.
Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports Troy Polamalu and Mike Wallace will have to wait until 2012 to get new contracts.
“All comments about the contract stay between the Steelers and my agent. Sorry,” Polamalu said. “I’d love to retire a Steeler.”
It’s interesting Timmons and Woodley took priority, but not surprising because of Polamalu’s age. The team could retain the safety with a franchise tag next year while working on a long-term deal.
Letting Wallace hit free agency would continue a path blazed by Plaxico Burress. The Steelers also dealt Santonio Holmes, but Wallace has never had off-field issues like those two receivers.
“This is the last year of my contract. I kind of want to play it out,” Wallace said. “I’m not worried about that right now. I’m just trying to get back to the Super Bowl.”
That sounds like a player confident in his own abilities, sure he’s going to make huge bucks next year in Pittsburgh or elsewhere.