Steelers' free-agent desires might put off Polamalu extension

The Pittsburgh Steelers would like to keep Troy Polamalu in the black and gold for years to come, and the feeling is mutual for the star safety, but a new contract might have to wait.

With a hefty new deal already on the books for linebacker LaMarr Woodley, the Steelers' front office will prioritize the possible signing of additional free agents this season before tackling extensions for Polamalu or inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Sunday.

The Steelers have shown interest in former New York Jets receiver Jerricho Cotchery. The free agent underwent a physical at Pittsburgh's training camp Sunday. Cotchery also is expected to meet with the Steelers' AFC North rivals, the Baltimore Ravens, sometime this week.

As for Polamalu, the six-time Pro Bowl safety is set to become an unrestricted free agent after this season at the end of a five-year, $33 million contract he signed in 2007. That deal made him the league's highest-paid safety at the time.

Timmons will also become an unrestricted free agent after the 2011 campaign.

"My only comment is, because I know things can really get misconstrued a lot, is that everything regarding our contract talks will stay between the Rooneys and my agent (Marvin Demoff)," Polamalu said. "Other than that, I would love to retire a Pittsburgh Steeler."

Demoff told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in July that he expected the team to take action.

"The Steelers always have done this sort of thing the year before a contract is up," Demoff said.

Polamalu spent the offseason rehabilitating an Achilles' tendon injury in Los Angeles. The three-time All-Pro has played a full, 16-game schedule in just four of his eight seasons because of his physical style of play. He has missed 13 regular-season games the last three seasons but still has 17 interceptions and 35 passes defended.

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