The Steelers have an unusual amount of draft capital tied up at linebacker, with four homegrown first-round picks at the position. Their most accomplished performer there, Lawrence Timmons, is due to be paid more than any inside linebacker in football the next two seasons, which complicates matters for his future in Pittsburgh.
But the 29-year-old Timmons told ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler he’s “of course” willing to work with the Steelers about a potential renegotiation to remain with the team for the rest of his career, be it on a restructured or extended contract.
Modest cap numbers of $3.95MM and $5.82MM accompanied the one-time Pro Bowler in the first two years of the five-year, $47.8MM extension he signed in 2011, but Timmons earned $11.82MM last season and has the Steelers on the hook for $12.56MM and $11.82MM cap figures in 2015 and 2016, respectively. He’s set to be the second-highest-paid player on the team this season, behind the newly extended Ben Roethlisberger. But Timmons, who rated 11th among ILBs last season on Pro Football Focus’ scale, doesn’t have the leverage Roethlisberger does.
“I’ve been here for nine years; I’ve got a house here; I’d like to keep that house,” said Timmons, 29, according to Fowler. “I’ve got a family here that loves it.”
The Steelers added first-round backers in each of the past three drafts — Jarvis Jones, Ryan Shazier and Bud Dupree — but Timmons remains the team’s premier second-level player, collecting 28 sacks despite lining up inside. For a linebacking corps that lost Jason Worilds to retirement, Timmons’ presence will be vital this season, which is set to be his seventh as a full-time starter.