Fast Willie signs new deal

Willie Parker was only an exclusive-rights free agent, with restricted free agency still to come, but both "Fast Willie" and the Steelers realize there's no use waiting around for a respectable contract.

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers announced today that running back Willie Parker has signed a new four-year deal to remain with the team through 2009. Financial terms of the contract were not released.

Parker, a third-year pro from North Carolina, became a starter for the first time in 2005 and rushed for 1,202 yards, the sixth-highest single-season total in team history. He averaged 4.7 yards on 255 carries and scored four touchdowns in the regular season, and also caught 18 passes for 218 yards (12.1 avg.) and one score.

In his first career start, Parker set a opening-game record with 161 rushing yards and a touchdown on 22 carries (7.3 avg.) against the Tennessee Titans. However, his signature play of the 2005 season came in Super Bowl XL when he set a Super Bowl record with a 75-yard touchdown run in the third quarter against the Seattle Seahawks.

Parker originally signed with the Steelers as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2004. He has rushed for 1,388 yards and four touchdowns on 287 carries during his NFL career. He set a personal best with a career-long 80-yard touchdown run at Cleveland on Dec. 24. Parker has rushed for at least 100 yards in a game six times during his career.

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