Ramon Foster is a very happy man.
Heading into the new league year, Foster was slated to be one of the top prospects in free agency. He had gone from being an undrafted rookie out of Tennessee to a full-time starter. During this span of time, Foster made the 53-man roster, became a full-time starter in 2011, and appeared in Super Bowl XLV as a member of the Steelers. Foster may have been on the losing end of this battle against the Packers, but he still experienced something that thousands of players fail to do.
Now 33 years old, Foster is on the back end of his career, but he isn’t finished being a quality contributor for this Steelers team. He played in all 16 regular season games of the 2018 season, marking the first time he had done so since 2015. He also served as a key blocker as Ben Roethlisberger led the NFL with 5,129 passing yards. With this production, Foster worked his way into a new deal worth two years and $8.25 million and guaranteed that he would still be an integral part of this Steelers roster.
Of course, the more fascinating aspect of this signing is that the contract extension happened at the same time as Maurkice Pouncey. The Steelers veteran center inked a three-year, $29 million deal at the same time as Foster. Despite rumors to the contrary, the linemen did not plan their deals for the exact same time.
“No,” Foster said. “You know what’s wild? We have the same agent, and he didn’t tell us at all about anything that was going on. So here I was, he’s (Pouncey) calling me in a frantic. He’s like, ‘dude, they want to sign me too!’ I’m like, ‘no way.’ So really, when you’re friends, it was really cool to lock that up…From the beginning, our relationship wasn’t a forced one. When he came in, we naturally gravitated toward each other. I think he’s using me because he’s missing his twin, but I have no problems with it.”
While Foster could have warranted a sizable market given his previous production, he wasn’t interested in testing free agency. He really wanted to stick with the Steelers for the foreseeable future. As he explained, not many players can say they truly stuck with the same team throughout their entire career. Generally, the quarterbacks are the main figures that can achieve this feat. Linemen and other positions don’t have the same luxury.
Additionally, Foster knew that the deal he would warrant in Pittsburgh was fair to his projected market value, but there was the added bonus of knowing the city and the team. There would be no adjustment period with new players or coaching staffs. Foster wouldn’t have to worry about switching offensive schemes. He could simply sign the deal and show up for work. It was the perfect win-win situation for the veteran lineman.
“To be honest, I love the locker room, and I love the guys,” Foster said. “We have this mission that we want to get the ring here. We want to get number seven, so why not do it in Pittsburgh?”