What's good for Farrior obviously wasn't good for Faneca or Porter, who wanted to finish their careers with the Steelers but left for big dollars.
Farrior's contract was restructured to be more team-friendly, with a lower salary cap number in his final year.
Compare Farrior's situation with Porter, who was scheduled to have the second-highest cap number on the team when he was released. Or with Harrison, who turns 30 in May and has an extremely team-friendly contract: $1.5 million in 2008 and $1.7 million in 2009.
"I didn't get a contract, but at the same time I don't feel like they had enough money to spend on me," Porter told the Tribune-Review after his release. "It was about the Steelers coming to a reasonable number that they felt like giving me, and was I willing to take it."
Farrior's situation is different. Nearing the end of his career, he's willing to play for less money to remain with the Steelers.
The Steelers' working environment is unique in the NFL. Not only is the team successful on the field, but in an era when players are often released to create salary cap space, some players have an opportunity to finish their careers in Pittsburgh.
"The Steelers put in the number of years on a contract that they reasonably expect a guy can play. Rarely do you see them eat three years of a contract because a guy got too old," said Pittsburgh-based agent Ralph Cindrich, who represents Farrior.
"In the case of a guy like Farrior, instead of pumping up the last year (of his contract) like a lot of agents do to get a high average, we actually dropped James' (salary) last year some. So they're saying, 'We had good play out of him;' in fact, the Steelers are calling last season maybe his second-best year with them. They look at his cap number and see it went down from the previous season."
Simply put, Farrior wanted to stay with the Steelers. So he made his contract more attractive to the team. Farrior led the Steelers in tackles last season, but how many other talented players are willing to accept less money to stay?
"That was one of the reasons why James made the decision when he was in the last year of his contract," Cindrich said. "It's very difficult to find in the NFL a home where you're getting paid well, you wake up in the morning and you want to go to work and want to be with your teammates. In the long run, the dollars amount to more when you're with that type of organization versus playing five years and taking a hit in free agency trying to get the big bucks, but not playing through the contract."