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Steelers Give Head Coach Mike Tomlin Three-Year Extension Through

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin went through arguably the most difficult offseason of his career with all of the legal entanglements surrounding QB Ben Roethlisberger. He was rewarded with a three-year contract extension, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Tomlin's new contract will carry him through 2014. His previous contract, signed when the Steelers hired him in '07, had one year and an option left. The five-year deal was worth an average of $2.5 million annually.

Tomlin had one year and an option remaining on his current deal. The Steelers had traditionally renegotiated coaches contracts with two years remaining.

Tomlin's original contract signed in 2007 paid him an annual average of $2.5 million per year. The terms of his extension weren't made available but it's safe to assume he got a pay raise, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

In similar circumstances, Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt, with two years left on his first deal, signed an entirely new five-year contract in February that reportedly will pay him an annual average of between $5.5 million and $6 million.

In the past when the Steelers extended the contract of former coach Bill Cowher, the terms of the original deal would remain in place and the new salary would not kick in until the new extended portion of the contract began.

If that's the case, Tomlin would be getting an average of $2.5 million per year until 2011 and then the terms of his new deal would kick in. If he's getting similar money as Whisenhunt, it would be the largest annual average ever paid to a Steelers head coach.

Tomlin is just the third Steelers head coach since 1969. Chuck Noll ran the show from 1969-1991 and Bill Cowher took over from 1992-2006.