Steelers' negotiations with Troy Polamalu ongoing

The Steelers have been negotiating with the agent for safety

Troy Polamalu

over the past several days, an 11th-hour attempt to sign the


defensive player of the year before the season begins Sunday.

Polamalu is entering the final season of his contract, and their previous discussions this summer with agent Marvin Demoff went nowhere and stalled. After the Steelers signed linebacker

Lawrence Timmons

to a six-year, $50 million contract two weeks ago, they decided they could do no more extensions until after the season.


Last week, however, team president

Art Rooney

had a change of heart and decided to give it one last shot.

Polamalu is scheduled to earn $6.4 million in salary this year, the last of a five-year, $33 million contract. He and wide receiver

Mike Wallace

were the last two key players with one year left on multi-year contracts the Steelers have not signed. They signed Timmons, cornerback

Ike Taylor

and linebacker

LaMarr Woodley

to multiyear deals in training camp.

The team adopted a policy in the mid-1990s not to negotiate contract extensions beyond the start of the regular season, a policy they have followed strictly. The only exceptions have come when they were close to finishing a deal before the season began and believed they could wrap it up soon thereafter.