Lawrence Timmons willing to renegotiate deal to stay with Steelers

PITTSBURGH -- Pro Bowl inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons wants to retire a Steeler, and he's willing to reopen his contract to make that happen.

Timmons, 29, is still playing at a high level, recording 132 tackles and two sacks last season in the Steelers' 'Buck' position, where he can rush the passer or play in a traditional linebacker space.

But his looming salary cap hits are enormous -- $12.6 million in 2015, $11.8 million in 2016 -- because of proration from his six-year, $50-million deal signed in 2011, according to ESPN's roster management system. Timmons is due $7.5 million in base salary this year.

Timmons told ESPN "of course" when asked if he'd be willing to work with the Steelers contractually because he loves being in Pittsburgh. Theoretically, that would come in two forms: a restructure or an extension.

"I've been here for nine years, I've got a house here, I'd like to keep that house," said Timmons, 29. "I've got a family here that loves it."

Timmons said he hasn't heard of any renegotiations, but to stay in Pittsburgh long-term, he must "keep doing what I do out here [on the field] and make that possible."

New defensive coordinator Keith Butler challenges Timmons every week, the player said, whether that's handling the best tight end in pass coverage, taking ownership in run defense or rushing the passer.

Timmons was the 15th overall pick in 2007, the first selection of the Mike Tomlin era.

"Week in and week out, you have to come with it," Timmons said. "This game is unforgiving. I love the competition. I feel I'm a great competitor."