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Steelers sign 1st-round pick Shazier to 4-year contract

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Ryan Shazier poses with a jersey after he was picked #15 overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Shazier signed a four-year contract Thursday, and is expected to be a starting linebacker for the Steelers this season.

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By Alan Robinson
Thursday, June 5, 2014, 6:24 p.m.

With seven weeks remaining before the start of training camp, the Steelers already have first-round draft pick Ryan Shazier under contract.

Shazier, an inside linebacker and the No. 15 overall pick, signed a four-year contract Thursday, leaving the team with three unsigned picks.

His contract includes a fifth-year option the Steelers can choose to pick up. Based on the NFL rookie wage scale, Shazier's deal is worth $9.5 million guaranteed with a $5.365 million signing bonus.

The Steelers previously signed their final five picks from May's draft. Still unsigned are second-round pick Stephon Tuitt, third-round pick Dri Archer and fourth-round pick Martavis Bryant.

The 6-foot-1, 237-pound Shazier had 316 tackles, 44 12 for losses, 14 sacks, nine quarterback pressures and forced nine fumbles in his 39-game Ohio State career.

Shazier began practicing with the Steelers' starters this offseason, a rarity under defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, and is expected to start this season.

“He's going to be a great player for us,” outside linebacker Jarvis Jones said. “He's going to be able to do a lot of different things for us, moving around and making some plays. … He's going to be exciting to see.”

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