was rewarded by the Pittsburgh Steelers
Thursday with a five-year, $18.25 million contract. The deal included a $5 million signing bonus, a source confirmed.
When the Steelers took two linebackers atop the 2007 draft, Farrior -- one of Pittsburgh's team leaders -- seemed a potential target for replacement. Farrior continued to play at a Pro Bowl level, however, and made sure those draft choices -- Lawrence Timmons
and LaMarr Woodley
-- fit into the defense.
Farrior, 33, was entering the final year of his Steelers contract and was scheduled to make $3.24 million.
A former first-round choice of the Jets, Farrior turned out to be one of the best free agent signings in Steelers history. He had 562 tackles in 78 starts in his five years with the Steelers. In the past two years, the team let him rush the quarterback at little more, and he had 10½ sacks -- 6½ coming last year.
The Steelers believe Farrior can play at least three more seasons. By keeping him, they will have one of the deepest linebacking corps in football. The 6-2, 243-pound Farrior is entering his 12th season.