On Wednesday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Steelers announced that they had signed veteran safety Troy Polamalu to a new three-year contract that will carry him through 2016, much to the obvious delight of Steelers fans everywhere. However, had it not been for a big 2013 season, this may have never happened according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
Was told Troy Polamalu needed to have a big 2013 to return. And he did. Bounced back nicely, now gets to stay with reduced cap number.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 5, 2014
Indeed, Polamalu did have a big 2013 regular season. After the Steelers got off to one of the worst starts in the league, the safety played a huge part on the defensive side of the ball in almost getting the team to the postseason. When it was all said and done, the former USC star finished with 69 total tackles, two sacks and two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown.
Going forward, the Steelers need playmakers on both sides of the ball, and Polamalu showed in 2013 that he is still one of the best–if not the best–the team has on the roster.