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Polamalu: New $30M pact won’t change me


LATROBE, Pa. — Troy Polamalu celebrated his new $30 million-plus contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers in typical fashion. Long after his teammates abandoned the practice field on the opening day of training camp, he was a solitary figure doing difficult conditioning along a rugged hillside.

Once he finished, he looked no more winded than if he had walked down the street. So much for taking it easy to celebrate signing a huge contract.

Asked if he had any plans for the $33 million he’ll make through 2011, with nearly $11 million arriving as a signing bonus, Polamalu said, “Not at all. My wife and I are just going to really live the same lifestyle we’ve been living.”

By NFL standards, it’s an exceedingly modest way of life.

After signing a contract worth $8,275,000 as a first-round rookie in 2003, Polamalu arrived at camp driving a used sport utility vehicle that cost about $12,000 when new — and he kept driving it all season.

Once he got married, he and wife Theodora bought a nice suburban home in Pittsburgh, but hardly the kind associated with a recognizable athlete.

Unlike many NFL players, Polamalu doesn’t maintain a second, larger home near his hometown or in a warm-weather community; he prefers to stay in Pittsburgh year-around for training purposes.

Plus, he says he doesn’t like traveling and is a stay-at-home person.

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