The Steelers signed backup running back Najeh Davenport to a two-year, $2 million contract yesterday, paying him the kind of money that should put him high in their plans for next season.
Davenport, who would have become an unrestricted free agent, received a $405,000 signing bonus, a salary of $595,000 this year and $1 million next year. He is entering his sixth season in the NFL.
The Steelers signed Davenport to a one-year contract after their first game last season when Green Bay released him. He eventually became their backup to starter Willie Parker after Verron Haynes was injured at midseason. New coach Mike Tomlin has stated a preference for using two running backs, something that is becoming a trend in the NFL.
Davenport, 6 feet 1 and 247 pounds, gained 221 yards on 60 carries last season and also returned kickoffs.
Tickets prices going up
Keeping with tradition, the Steelers raised their ticket prices for next season in Heinz Field.
For example, seats that cost $55 last season will cost $59 and those that were $65 will be $74.
The Steelers long have raised ticket prices every other season. They did not raise them last year after they won the Super Bowl, except for some club seats.
"The raise in ticket prices is something we've done periodically, just to keep in line and remain competitive throughout the league,'' spokesman Dave Lockett said. "We still feel they are among the lower grouping of ticket prices in the league."
Ed Bouchette can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .