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Bargain Ballers: Steelers getting SUVs for hatchback prices in free agency

Tight end Ladarius Green, whose deal is for $20M over four years, could become a star with Ben Roethlisberger throwing him the ball. Alex Gallardo/AP

While the New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders spend big this week, the Pittsburgh Steelers have a different definition for 'winning' free agency.

Sensible signings, value additions and good accounting.

No, none of those things is sexy in this headline-driven NFL week. But it's worth noting that the Steelers just signed three starters, a subpackage safety and a capable receiver for $11.05 million in guaranteed money.

That's the combined signing-bonus money among four in-house re-signs -- offensive guard Ramon Foster ($2.75 million), cornerback William Gay ($1.9 million), safety Robert Golden ($1.25 million) and wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey ($400,000) -- and former Chargers tight end Ladarius Green ($4.75 million).

Of course, these players will more than likely play at least one or two years on these contracts, but as far as guarantees, it's signing bonus or bust. That's how the Steelers like to operate this time of year.

All things considered, this is really good value for a team that rarely dips into the open market unless it's got a major need.

Top to bottom, risk is minimal here.

Green at $20 million over four years is a good contract for both sides. His salary is $1.25 million in the first year, and though it jumps to an average of $4.7 million over the final three years, the Steelers could walk away from that fairly easily if this doesn't work out. The signing bonus isn't big enough to be a cap issue. But both sides are counting on this working out -- Green could become a star with Ben Roethlisberger throwing him the ball. He's more of a vertical threat while tight end Jesse James is a classic inline blocker. The Steelers can imagine the possibilities of using these two together.

For Gay, a $1.9 million signing bonus and base salary average of $1.86 million is solid for the team's most productive cornerback last season.

Foster played every snap last year, and he comes back on a modest three-year, $9.6 million contract.

And for you salary-cap heads, these five contracts count just under $10 million against the 2016 cap. At this rate, maybe the Steelers can actually chase an Eric Weddle type. Won't happen, of course. But there's still money available.

Let's not say the Steelers acquired star power this week. They didn't. Follow the money to New York and elsewhere for that. But the Steelers already had stars. What they needed was adequate help at guard, tight end and corner. They got that, and not at full price.