The new deal that right tackle Marcus Gilbert signed prior to the 2014 season averages out a $6 million a season when looking at the new money and the new money given to center Maurkice Pouncey last offseason in his new contract equated to just under $8.9 million per year.

Defensive end Cam Heyward signed a six-year, $59.25 million deal with the Pittsburgh Steeler son Thursday night. Heyward then became their next priority, and when the New Orleans Saints signed Cameron Jordan to a five-year, million extension earlier this offseason, it was only a matter of time before the Steelers got a deal done.

In a separate post, Heyward said, “never know how much it means 2 stay a steeler!” He recorded 7.5 sacks last season and racked up 12 QB hits with 38 hurries, according to ProFootballFocus. Longtime defensive end Brett Keisel, who served as Heyward’s mentor, was released while safety Troy Polamalu and cornerback Ike Taylor retired.

As I did with Heyward, I will be posting a projected contract for Beachum in the near future. Heyward is considered the cornerstone of a rebuilt line that includes nose tackle Steve McLendon and second-year player Stephon Tuitt.

Locking up arguably the team’s best, and most consistent, defender in Heyward was a must for the team, but now they are faced with some very hard decisions ahead in both starting players and depth across the roster. Last season Brown produced one of the greatest seasons in National Football League history by a receiver, catching 129 passes for 1,698 yards and 13 touchdowns and was named first team All-Pro. He’s started 29 of the last 32 regular season games.

That step included making sure Heyward stuck around.

After a slow start to his career, Heyward as become a force for the Pittsburgh defense.

Maybe, though Thursday’s signing makes Heyward an integral part of a group hoping to rediscover its tenacity in 2015 and beyond.