Steelers Sign Hampton to 3-year deal

The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed nose tackle, Casey Hampton to a 3-year deal.  The Steelers  were able to get a long-term deal worked out with the 32-year old Pro Bowler which is great news for both Hampton and the Steelers.

The Steelers did not have a NT on the current roster to replace the Pro Bowler.  Most believed that if Hampton didn't sign a long-term deal, the Steelers would franchise him and most likely draft his replacement in Tennessee's defensive tackle (DT), Dan Williams.  Hampton was against the franchise tag, saying that "there would be problems" if the Steelers did franchise him.

The NFL's elite 3-4 nose tackles are both a hot commodity and a rare commodity especially with more and more teams switching from the 4-3 to 3-4 defense.  This is a win-win for both sides.  The Steelers can now concentrate on other 1st round draft needs including a safety, linebacker or offensive tackle.  It is very likely that the Steelers philosophy of drafting the "best player available" will happen to be one of those 3 positions of need.

Casey Hampton's contract includes 3 years, worth $21.3 million and includes a $6.5 million signing bonus.

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