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Steelers extend Polamalu, Miller; cut Foote

The SportsXchange

The Pittsburgh Steelers worked out new three-year deals with safety Troy Polamalu and tight end Heath Miller, keeping the key veterans under contract through 2016 while gaining some much-needed salary cap space.

The team also re-signed safety Will Allen, his agent announced on Twitter.

Polamalu's extension reduces his 2014 salary cap number from $10.8 million to $6.3 million, with the deal worth $20 million over three years, according to NFL.com.

The Steelers were intent on working out a restructured deal to avoid having to release the 12-year veteran leader of the defense. While injury-plagued in recent seasons, Polamalu, who will turn 33 next month, played every snap in 2013 and recorded 85 tackles, two interceptions and forced five fumbles.

Miller was due to have a cap number of $9.5 million in 2014, with USA Today reporting the new deal cuts that figure to $6.1 million. He will reportedly earn base salaries of $4 million in 2015 and 2016. He finished fourth on the team with 58 catches for 593 yards and one touchdown last season, while continuing to serve as a key blocker in the ground game.

Allen served as the primary backup to Polamalu and Ryan Clark last season, and in addition to five games played with Dallas he actually saw action in 17 regular-season games. He could be in line to compete with second-year player Shamarko Thomas for a starting role if Clark leaves via free agency.

Signing outside linebacker Jason Worilds to a one-year, $9.75 million transition tender this week put the Steelers $15.5 million over the salary cap, according to ESPN, meaning the team needed to restructure contracts like Polamalu's.

Pittsburgh also announced linebacker Larry Foote, cornerback Curtis Brown and offensive tackle Levi Brown have been released as the team scrambles to get under the salary cap by the start of free agency next week.

Foote's release saves $1.67 million in cap space, Levi Brown saves $6.25 million and Curtis Brown saves $645,000, according to CBSSports.com.

Foote spent the past four seasons with Pittsburgh. He was originally selected by the Steelers in the fourth round of the 2002 NFL Draft and spent his first seven seasons in Pittsburgh before playing for the Detroit Lions in 2009. Foote started 104 of 158 regular-season games played and 10 of 16 postseason games during his career with the Steelers. The move saves Pittsburgh around $1 million in salary cap space.

Curtis Brown played for the Steelers for three seasons after originally being selected by Pittsburgh in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft. In three seasons, Brown played in 34 regular-season games.

Levi Brown was acquired by the Steelers in a trade with the Arizona Cardinals on Oct. 2, 2013. He sustained a triceps injury during pregame last Oct. 13 and was placed on the team's injured reserve list on Oct. 15.
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