Steelers lock up Maurkice Pouncey, Ramon Foster

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  • By Around The NFL staff NFL.com
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Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey was set to enter the final year of his contract in 2019, but he now has stability for a few more years along with the status of being the NFL's highest-paid center.

The Steelers and Pouncey agreed to an extension through 2021, the team announced Thursday. Pittsburgh also announced a two-year deal for guard Ramon Foster, who was set to be an unrestricted free agent next week. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero added that it's a big raise for Pouncey, who is now making an average of $11 million per year, which is the highest-ever for a center.

Pouncey's extension includes $22 million in new money and Foster's deal is for two years and is worth $8.25 million, Pelissero reported.

Pouncey, who turns 30 in July, has been the foundation of the Steelers' offensive line since joining the team out of the University of Florida as a first-round pick (18th overall) in the 2010 NFL Draft.

He is widely-regarded around the NFL as the top center and he has the hardware to show for it. Since entering the league, Pouncey is a two-time first-team All-Pro (2011 and 2014) and has been selected to seven Pro Bowls.

Foster is perhaps the Steelers' most underrated talent. The 10-year veteran, who previously was ranked No. 58 in NFL.com's Top 101 free agents, has played his entire career in the Steel City, having earned starts in all 10 seasons he's played, becoming a fixture in the starting offensive line over the last eight.

"It's good to have it over with," Foster, per the team's official website. "The Steelers have been our home for over a decade now. It's awesome to be able to extend my career there, also my family. It's always been a second home to us. We are excited. When we started talking we got it done quick because both sides wanted to get it done. It's definitely a relief."

Thus, Thursday was a big step ahead in solidifying the offensive line in front of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

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