In this column from the Pittsburgh Tribune Review’s Dejan Kovacevic, the author discusses whether the Steelers should lock up S Troy Polamalu for life.
As Kovacevic points out, there really isn’t a clear-cut answer. A Steelers fan’s heart will say yes, for sure. But when you break it down with your brain, maybe giving Polamalu a long-term and expensive extension on his contract, which will expire at the end of 2012, isn’t the best idea for Pittsburgh.
Here’s one reason Polamalu should be rewarded: He’s still an incredible player. Despite injuries that have limited him to 19 games in the past two seasons, he makes plays few others in the league could make. He tied his career high with seven interceptions last season, and he’s such a popular figure among Steelers fans that it makes sense to keep him in the city’s embrace forever.
But lest you forget, CBSSports.com’s own Pete Prisco called Polamalu the most overrated player in the game.
He was a spinning top in the Super Bowl, trying to cover Packers receivers and instead watched them rip off big gains and two touchdowns on his watch.
The Packers exposed the reason I think Polamalu is overrated. He isn't great in coverage and the NFL is now a cover game.
He's a good player. He's just not great.
I've always believed he was a gambler in the back end, and good teams and smart quarterbacks could take advantage of his aggressive style, which the Packers and Aaron Rodgers did. He gets away with it against bad quarterbacks, but good ones can use his aggressive style to their advantage (See Tom Brady).
Besides, Polamalu is going to be expensive. As the Trib Review points out, the highest-paid safety in the league is Kansas City’s Eric Berry, who signed a six-year, $60 million deal after he was drafted in 2010. I imagine Polamalu will want more than that.
Which might make it extremely hard for the Steelers to keep him.
“There's been no discussion yet (of a new deal), but I'd say it's highly likely that was because of the lockout,” his agent, Marvin Demoff, told the paper. "We'd be open to it, sure. Troy's played there eight years and wants to finish his career in Pittsburgh."
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