- Scott Brown, ESPN Pittsburgh Steelers reporter
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The Pittsburgh Steelers' salary-cap situation did not cost a couple of veteran players their roster spots. It actually led to contract extensions for each.
Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu and tight end Heath Miller signed three-year contracts Wednesday, securing their foreseeable futures in Pittsburgh while also helping the Steelers shed salary in regard to the 2014 cap.
The Polamalu deal is for $20 million total and saves Pittsburgh $4.5 million against the cap this year, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Polamalu reacted to the deal via Twitter:
I am thankful and blessed to be in a position to play my entire career in Pittsburgh
- Troy Polamalu (@tpolamalu) March 5, 2014
Miller signed a two-year extension through the 2016 season that will reduce his cap hit for 2014 by more than $3 million, according to multiple reports.
Polamalu and Miller each was entering the final year of his contract with respective cap hits of $10.89 million and $6.14 million, according to ESPN roster management.
The Steelers were roughly $15.25 million over the cap after outside linebacker Jason Worilds signed a one-year, $9.75 million contract Tuesday.
Polamalu, who turns 33 next month, played every snap last season and was voted to his eighth Pro Bowl after recording 85 tackles, intercepting two passes and forcing five fumbles.
He had missed nine games in 2012 because of a recurring calf injury. The veteran, who played inside linebacker when the Steelers went with a defensive package of three cornerbacks and three safeties last season, credited an in-season workout program and physical therapy for his durability in 2013.
In January, Steelers president Art Rooney II told season-ticket holders during a conference call that he wants Polamalu to play his entire career for Pittsburgh.
Miller tore several ligaments, including his ACL, in December 2012. He returned from reconstructive knee surgery for the third game of the season and finished third on the team with 58 receptions for 593 yards and a touchdown.
He played the fifth-most snaps (874) among Steelers offensive players, despite missing the first two games. He holds the franchise record for touchdown receptions by a tight end (40).
Polamalu and Miller are among a handful of Steelers who played in three Super Bowls for the team, winning two of them, from 2005 to 2010. They were first-round draft picks in 2003 and '05, respectively. Those picks sandwiched the selection of Ben Roethlisberger in 2004.