LaMarr Woodley signed a six-year deal worth $61.5 million to stay in Pittsburgh early Friday morning, also clearing up some cap space for the Steelers.
The question now is who's next?
Both Lawrence Timmons and Troy Polamalu are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents at the conclusion of the 2011 season, while wide receiver Mike Wallace will be restricted.
That's three pretty key components to this team.
Some would argue that if Timmons is now given a long-term deal, it would lock up quite a bit of money at the linebacker position.
James Harrison just signed a six-year, $51.75-million deal a couple of years ago, while James Farrior is pulling down around $2.5 million.
The question is, do they want to take a chance at losing a young star such as Timmons and what exactly is he worth. Do you take the chance on signing him now based on his current level of play or do you roll the dice and if he has a great season, as many expect, does he now cost $10 million per season as well?
Timmons has played well to this point in his career - great in some stretches. But he has yet to do it over the course of a season.
Polamalu, on the other hand, is a completely proven player, albeit one who is going to miss some games here and there. But the Steelers' record with him on the field is remarkably better than it is without him. He's also one of the faces of the franchise, if not the NFL.
It would be hard to imagine him playing elsewhere.
In Wallace, you have a player who took over the No. 1 receiver role in 2010 and is a blossoming star. With Hines Ward near the end of his storied career, it's up to Wallace to become the leader of the wideouts.
The bet here is that the Steelers try to work something out with Timmons and Polamalu now, with Polamalu being the bigger priority.
They could possibly get something done with him before the season begins that will not only lock him up for another four seasons after this one - making that his last contract - but also lower his cap number slightly for this season.
And if they can't get something done with Timmons, they'll have the franchise tag available once the season ends.
As for Wallace, he'll likely become a restricted free agent - though the Steelers will place the highest-level tag on him and continue to work on a new deal.
There's also the chance that the money saved with Woodley's new deal will be used to bring back one of the two offensive tackles cut last week, Max Starks or Flozell Adams.
© Former Steelers coach Bill Cowher is in camp and will be attending the team's 7 p.m. practice tonight at Latrobe High School Stadium.
© Woodley, Ben Roethlisberger and James Farrior will be at Heinz Field Saturday filming a scene for the upcoming Batman movie being shot in Pittsburgh.