The Steelers and representatives for safety Troy Polamalu are working hard to beat the team’s deadline to complete a contract extension.
Both sides have been committed to trying to get a deal done for the four-time All-Pro, who has one year and $6.4 million left on his current contract.
Polamalu would be the third top Steelers defender to receive a big deal this offseason — behind LBs LaMarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons — and the organization has a longstanding, team-imposed cutoff of the start of the regular season in which to have contracts done.
However, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, if a deal isn’t struck by Sunday, the sides have made enough progress that talks would resume after the season. They could be wrapped up well before the start of the 2012 league year, when Polamalu is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent.
The Steelers also could place the franchise tag on Polamalu, though at this point, it seems clear a long-term deal will be struck before March.
Polamalu is in line to far exceed the $8 million per season that Chargers safety Eric Weddle garnered in his record new contract following the NFL lockout.