Steelers LB Foote signs 5-year deal

<b>PITTSBURGH -</b> The Steelers announced today that one of their restricted free agents, starting inside linebacker Larry Foote, has signed a five-year contract. Financial terms of the deal were not released.

Foote will enter his fourth season with the Steelers in 2005 after originally being selected by the team in the fourth round (128th overall) of the 2002 NFL Draft. He became a full-time starter for the first time in 2004 and helped the Steelers lead the NFL in total defense.

Foote set career-highs in 2004 when he ranked fourth on the Steelers with 78 tackles (55 solo), and tied for fifth on the team with three quarterback sacks. He started all 16 games in the regular season and both of the team's playoff games after taking over for injured starter Kendrell Bell in the preseason.

Foote is the first Steelers free agent to re-sign with the team this year. Free agents may sign with other teams at midnight tonight.

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