Despite a report last week that safety Troy Polamalu would have to wait until after the 2011 season for a contract extension, it looks like the Steelers are making a last-minute push to get a deal done before Week One.
Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that talks have been ongoing the last few days. Negotiations stalled before, but team president Art Rooney reportedly “had a change of heart” according to Bouchette and decided to give it one last shot.
If a deal isn’t completed before the opener, it looks like the issue will be tabled. The Steelers don’t like to negotiate during the season. The two sides reportedly aren’t that close, but there is mutual interest to close the deal.
Polamalu is 30 and another injury would hurt his value. He also knows the Steelers could use the franchise tag on him next year.
Then again, the Steelers would love to have the tag available to use on Mike Wallace. Pittsburgh doesn’t often pay over-30 players huge money, but guys like Polamalu and James Harrison are the exception to the rule.