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Steelers ink fourth-round pick Thomas to 4-year deal

| Thursday, May 16, 2013, 11:03 a.m.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Steelers fouth-round pick Shamarko Thomas during rookie camp May 3, 2013, on the South Side.

Shamarko Thomas, the former Syracuse safety and the first of the Steelers' two fourth-round draft picks, has signed a four-year contract worth slightly more than $2.6 million.

Thomas is the first of the Steelers' nine draft picks to reach agreement.

Because the NFL rookie wage scale mandates salaries for fourth-to-seventh-round picks, Thomas' salary was largely pre-determined, except for his estimated $450,000 signing bonus. He will make $405,000 in 2013, $495,000 in 2014, $585,000 in 2015 and $675,000 in 2016.

Thomas, the 111th overall pick, figures to be the top backup to Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark. He dropped in the draft partly because he is only 5-foot-9 and some teams were concerned that his height would be a liability.

The Steelers obtained Thomas by trading a third-round pick in 2014 to Cleveland.

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