Daily Archives: March 15, 2012

Hines Ward’s home on the market for $7.5M


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Hines Ward once told Architectural Digest about the dream home he constructed in Atlanta: “Before I built my dream house,” Ward says, “I spent years clipping pictures from magazines. I watch design shows on TV; I make mental notes wherever I go—friends’ places, hotels. You can be amazed at what you pick up just by paying attention.” The place was his pride and joy. Years in the making. Yep, now it’s on the market.
According to his AD magazine feature, the 8 bedroom/13 bath dream home would be his forever home where his child would one day learn about his father’s greatness via the trophy room where designers recreated Hines’ locker.
Of course we know that his NFL career is likely over after the Steelers released him in February. Now the house is going to be history. To be sold to some rich human who enjoys a house that’s fashioned after a ‘W’ Hotel.

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Mike Wallace looks like he’ll remain in Pittsburgh

According to Chris Wesseling of Rotoworld.com, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that it doesn’t look like any teams are interested in giving up a first round pick in order to try and sign Pittsburgh Steelers restricted free agent Mike Wallace.
Schefter stated some teams thought about going after Wallace, but in the end decided not too.  So right now it looks like Wallace won’t be going anywhere and he’ll be in Pittsburgh for the 2012 season.

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Casey Hampton restructures contract to stay with Steelers

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According to Rotoworld’s website Hampton restructured a bit today.  He took a reduction in base salary of $ 2.8 million down from $ 4.89 million he was due.  He also agreed to eliminate his workout bonus and saved the Steelers $ 3.09 million against the cap, which is great for free agency.  This was a great move for the Steelers and Hampton.  Hampton being 35, coming off injury and having $ 8.1 million against the cap before this would not have worked out well for the Steelers.  The Steelers have not confirmed this information yet.

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NT Casey Hampton Restructures Final Year of His Deal

Another Steelers vet has redone their deal, as reports say nose tackle Casey Hampton has restructured his contract and help the team get further under the salary cap.

The move basically means that he will be back with the Steelers in 2012.

The nose tackle restructured the final year of his three-year, $ 21 million contract that was scheduled to pay him $ 4.89 million in base salary and a $ 1 million workout bonus in 2012.

He was scheduled to count $ 8.057 million against the cap.

That brought them approximately $ 10.5 million under the $ 120 million salary cap before Hampton’s deal was restructured.

Source: Steelers Gab

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Bis Snack takes big cut to help Steelers

We thought the Steelers might try to renegotiate Casey Hampton’s deal to save some money this offseason, but the big boy just decided to take a pay cut instead to help the team out. And that means it looks like a sure thing that the Big Snack will be back for 2012.
Hampton was set to cost the Steelers $ 8 million in salary cap space with a $ 4.89 mil salary and a ******** of bonuses, but the Steelers just couldn’t afford to hang onto a guy that’s going to be 35 this year and is playing on three-time surgically repaired knees holding up a 325-pound frame.
Now, Big Snack has saved the Steelers about $ 3 mil by dropping his base salary to just $ 2.8 mil and tossing out his $ 1 million workout bonus – a move he probably did not mind at all. Does this mean that Hampton will never step foot in the weight room again as long as he’s a Steeler? Who knows. What it does mean is the Steelers are around $ 6 mil under the $ 120.6 mil salary cap after handing out there RFA tenders. And they have even more money to work with now that they’ve got an extra million and change after the Cowboys’ and Redskins’ phantom punishment.
Another restructure here and a few more cuts there and the Steelers could easily be well under the cap by more than $ 10 mil again. And with Colbert & Khan in charge, that’s a very distinct possibility.

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Steelers’ Aim Small, Miss Small Stance in Free Agency Has Served Them Well

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As many of you may know, I live in enemy territory, Redskin Country. At this time of the year the differences between the Steelers Way and the Redskins Way are never more stark and distinctive. As folks down here are fond of saying, if the Super Bowl could be won between the months of March and August, the Skins would be world champions every year.

The level of excitement in these parts is off the charts. Washington has traded up to the second pick of the draft, and unless Indianapolis has a serious change of heart, the Redskins will land Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III. Following up on that move, the Skins have also landed free agent wide receivers Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan, with Eddie Royal also being a possibility. Ticket sales are already up and a financial windfall for owner Daniel Snyder is guaranteed.

I don’t have to tell you that things are very different for Steeler Nation. For me, and I suspect many others no news is good news. I check the various websites and media outlets on a regular basis and breathe a sigh of relief when there is no news involving the Steelers. In fact, as I am writing this, the only news related to the free agent process is an article in the Trib where William Gay is expressing hope that he can stay with the Steelers. There is greater significance in this considering the fact that a lot of defensive backs have been claimed in the first hours of free agency.

What explains this difference? I've been around this site long enough to know that there are a number of Steelers fans who wish that our approach were more like that of the Redskins and a number of other teams. Why aren't we trading up for high level draft picks? Why aren't we chasing after a Carl Nicks in free agency? The answer is we don't have to.

Brian Billick wrote an interesting article last week explaining how many teams engage in free agency as a means of making up for key failings in other aspects of their operations. If, for example, a team drafts a player who may be talented but doesn't really fit into their scheme, or drops the ball in terms of coaching a player to the point where he can effectively contribute, then the solution is to obtain a developed player from someplace else. Teams that have a better sense of who they are; and are more competent at development, like the Steelers, use free agency in a much more limited manner. More often than not, the team simply resigns its own free agents. When they do pick up free agents from other teams, it is usually never the high profile splashy players that get all the publicity. Who would have known enough to lobby for the likes of a James Farrior, Jeff Hartings, Mewelde Moore, Ryan Clark or Jerricho Cotchery? Yet all have made valuable contributions, and three (Farrior, Hartings and Clark) have turned in Pro Bowl performances.

Billick's theory seems particularly accurate when applied to the Redskins and the Steelers. At first glance Washington's maneuvers would seem to be pretty much idiot proof. But if you have been paying attention, you now know that the Skins are incapable of staying out of their own way. Washington Post sports columnist Sally Jenkins has laid out how Snyder (along with Cowboy owner Jerry Jones), reneged on an agreement with other league owners to not take unfair financial advantage of the conditions surrounding the lockout. Of course, being the kind of people they are, Snyder and Jones did. The retaliation has come in the form of salary cap reductions. The problems for the Skins over the past generation (and for that matter the Cowboys as well) has not been bad luck, but incompetence on a mind blowing scale. It remains to be seen if RG3 and supporting cast have the capacity to overcome it.

And what about Pittsburgh? For many, the sense of this team has been determined by how the 2011 season ended. Let me suggest a little experiment. On the front page of this site is a Steelers roster. Take a few minutes to look over the roster. Art Rooney II said this specifically in regard to Ben, but it could just as easily apply to the entire team, there is a need for tweaking, but to suggest that there are great needs to be addressed or that the team is in any manner seriously flawed would really be overstating the case.

A few questions. What if Maurkice Pouncey was actually available to play and be reasonably healthy at the end of the season (something that hasn't happened before)? Additionally, what if Willie Colon, rated one of the top right tackles in the league was also available at the end of the year (something that hasn't happened in two years)? What if Gilbert who was thrown into the fire due to injuries improves significantly for his sophomore campaign (and also is relatively injury free)? And what if a Todd Haley offense and a more prudent Ben can lessen the stress and predictability that help make the O line seem less capable than it actually was? Finally, for this set of questions, what if we get a little help in the draft or free agency at guard, not superman, just some skill, stability and depth?

Who could we obtain in the draft or free agency who would be as good as or better than Mike Wallace? So why would anyone be happy or sanguine about letting him go? Is there any reason not to believe that with a season free of injury and grief that Manny Sanders doesn't have the potential to match the level of performance of Antonio Brown? Would there be a better #4 receiver in the league than Jerricho? If Antonio Brown was the receiving star of training camp last year, might there be similar expectations for the running back star of last year's camp, Baron Batch?

If by mid- season the starting defensive line were Keisel, Hampton and Hood, with Hayward and McLendon being the principle backups, would that be terrible? With three potential Pro Bowl linebackers in the starting lineup would Larry Foote being the weak link be unacceptable?

Let me be clear; I am not suggesting that the Steelers would not benefit from upgrades and improvements, but as Ryan Clark stated on the NFL Network a few days ago, this is a playoff, perhaps championship team as is. Most of the players are happy to be here and, if given a reasonable choice in business terms would prefer not to leave. The organization does not have as great a need for free agency as a springboard to improvement. And that is why I for one hope this storm just passes us by.



Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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No Steelers Free Agency News Here – 2012 NFL Free Agency Day Two Recap

Ho-hum. Another busy day around the NFL as teams continued to sign free agents. The Pittsburgh Steelers of course were not one of those teams and this should come to no surprise to anyone. Perhaps the biggest news involving the Steelers on Wednesday was that Chicago Bears free agent tight end Kellen Davis, who was reportedly scheduled to visit the Steelers, re-signed with the Bears on a two-year, $ 6 million contract that included a $ 2.7 million signing bonus.

The other Steelers news revolved around the presence of head coach Mike Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert at the Michigan State Read more [...]

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Agree to Disagree – Free Agency I

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This episode finds the guys delving into free agency, which officially opened for business on Tuesday, March 13

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