Troy Polamalu

Bill Barnwell over at Grantland has come up with a rather interesting topic with training camps around the NFL getting into high gear, and that’s players that have bad contracts that hurt their teams.

His piece – “The All–Bad Contracts Team” – does have one Steeler on it.

Safety Troy Polamalu.

The ‘hair’ is a player whose contract flaw, according to Barnwell, is Falling in Love With a Player They Shouldn’t Have

Here’s the paragraph about Polamalu’s deal, and what Barnwell says is a bad deal for the Black and Gold.

Polamalu was a force of nature when healthy, but since he signed this extension before 2011, he hasn’t been the same guy. Teams were able to pick on him during the second half of the 2011 campaign, when he was clearly struggling with an injury and far below 100 percent. Last year, he played just seven games and 386 snaps, a mere 39 percent of Pittsburgh’s defensive opportunities. The instincts will still be there in 2013, but at age 32, can Polamalu’s body hold up? Pittsburgh is paying him like the answer is yes.

While I agree that it sure would help the Steelers if Polamalu’s deal would be worth less, the bottom line is Dick LeBeau loves him as a player, and when he’s close to or at 100 percent, he’s a game changer.

Polamalu inked a deal worth $36.5 million with $10.55 million guaranteed, right before the 2010 season.

Barnwell can call it a bad deal, but he’s the face of the defense this season, and the Steelers will still look to him to make big plays.

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