Adam Schefter tweets that the Steelers are planning on keeping safety Troy Polamalu even if they can't sign him to a long-term deal right away:
Steelers plan to use their franchise tag on S Troy Polamalu after this season if the two sides can't come to a long-term agreement first.
I'm not sure how much of a scoop this really is, since this is what just about everyone suspected the Steelers would do, but it's nice to see it in type. It looked unlikely that the Steelers would sign Polamalu to a long-term deal after they signed Lawrence Timmons to a huge contract a few days ago. But it never seemed like the Steelers really risked losing Polamalu, and it's really hard to imagine him going anywhere else. Giving Polamalu the franchise tag seems to make a fair amount of sense, regardless.