Steelers, Farrior reach agreement

One by one the Steelers are meeting their obligations at the negotiating table.<br><br> On the heels of signing second-round pick Ricardo Colclough, the Steelers have agreed to a new contract with inside linebacker James Farrior. The official signing is expected to take place within the next few days. is reporting that the new five-year contract comes with a signing bonus of $4.5 million and an overall value of $16.5 million, if Farrior plays through the 2008 season.

The Steelers are currently negotiating with their other inside linebacker, Kendrell Bell, who is entering the final year of his contract. Farrior was in a similar situation and was set to receive a base salary of $1.4 million this season. His new 2004 cap number will be similar to that total.

Farrior is an eight-year NFL veteran who led the Steelers with 106 unassisted tackles and 127 total tackles last season. Bell was second in both categories with 88 unassisted and 108 total tackles.

Farrior enters his third season with the Steelers after spending five seasons with the New York Jets, who selected him with the eighth pick of the 1997 draft. In 70 career starts, Farrior has 5.5 sacks, seven forced fumbles and four interceptions. He replaced Earl Holmes as the Steelers' buck, or strong-side inside, linebacker in 2002.

Aside from Bell, the Steelers are also negotiating with first-round draft pick Ben Roethlisberger. They agreed to terms with fifth-round pick Nathan Adibi on Thursday and are expected to announce a deal with third-round pick Max Starks within days.

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