Daily Archives: April 21, 2012

Steelers likely to add to RB stable

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All signs from Rashard Mendenhall’s surgically repaired right knee to the relative inexperience behind him point to the Steelers selecting a running back in the NFL Draft.

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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Hines Ward selling his DUI car

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Floyd Mayweather recently sold his 2005 Rolls-Royce Phantom on eBay for nearly $ 150k. Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward has decided to get in on the act as well by making two of his rides available to the highest bidder. The 2009 Aston Martin is currently at $ 152,500 with four days remaining while […]

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers

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Art Rooney and Roger Goodell Help Minnesota Senate Pass Stadium Bill


The Minnesota House Government Operations Committee voted against a bill that would have constructed a $ 975 million stadium for the Vikings this past week.

After that, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Steelers president and chair of the NFL’s stadium committee hopped a plane to St. Paul to meet with legislators.

They’re singing a different tune now. fter the failed vote, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton said “We have to get a stadium next year or the Vikings will leave. It’s just as clear as that.” A companion bill was proposed to the senate’s Senate’s Local Government and Elections Committee, and it passed Friday – barely – with an 8-6 vote.

Reports indicate Goodell and Rooney did not bring with them an ultimatum, but it seems more likely one didn’t need to be made any way. Edward Roski, a partial owner of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Kings, has everything cleared for an $ 800 million stadium outside Los Angeles. All he is waiting for is a team. The Vikings clearly would have explored fully the possibility of selling at least a 30 percent stake in the team – Roski’s request – and moving it to Los Angeles, just like the Minneapolis Lakers of the NBA did in 1959.

Instead, life in the proposed project – which includes $ 398 million from a tax on scratch-off lottery tickets and an extension of a current hospitality tax in the city of Minneapolis providing another $ 150 million – has life again.

Rooney’s role in the matter was to present the economic benefits of a new stadium and revitalized growth in an area I can say, as a Minneapolis suburban resident, is stagnant. The Metrodome itself isn’t the only bland aspect of the area in which it rests. Hennepin County’s largest hospital sits nearly adjacent to the tenant-less domed facility, and the aging buildings around it clearly have seen better days. A re-investment into this once proud area would be a boost to the city and the taxpayers who are footing the bill.

The Warehouse District, now home to Target Field and the Minnesota Twins, had an overhaul of development that coincided with the construction of the stadium. Obviously, economic development comes with a cost, and it’s a big decision for the legislature. The NFL does not want the Vikings to be the team that will move to Los Angeles, but there is little doubt among Dayton, Goodell, Rooney or many Minnesotans that will be the result should a stadium not be built.

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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Mike Wallace staying in Pittsburgh

ESPN reported today, unsurprisingly, that the Steelers received no offers for restricted free agent Mike Wallace. Steelers fans can now breathe a sigh of relief as Wallace will be staying with the team for the low cost of $ 2.7 million.
Many believed early on that the Steelers would choose to franchise Wallace, locking him in to a one year contract at $ 9.5 million, but the Steelers took a gamble by offering Wallace only a first-round tender. The gamble paid off in a big way, especially when you consider the Steelers’ current salary cap woes.
It’s still unclear whether Wallace will holdout or whether he’ll eventually sign his current tender. The receiver has expressed that he has no intention of signing his tender, but to accumulate the final year he needs to be an unrestricted free agent in 2013, he’ll need to sign at some point.
The Steelers get to go through this all once again next offseason as well. Then, Steelers receiver Antonio Brown will be a restricted fre…

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers

What the Passing of Friday’s RFA Deadline Means to Mike Wallace and the Steelers


April 20 was a day marked on the calendars of more than just Gratetful Dead fans.

It was the last day other teams could sign Steelers restricted free agent Mike Wallace to an offer sheet. Since that passed, Wallace has no ability to sign with another team barring a trade.

And that’s good news for the Steelers.

It mostly means they maintain all the leverage in the ongoing contract negotiation. It was partially true, through Friday, to suggest the Steelers had the leverage anyway, but it was still possible for a team to sacrifice a first-round draft pick for the services of the 2012 Pro Bowl receiver.

Now, other teams can’t even do that.

The possibility of a trade has been discussed here and other sites, and it’s not out of the question. Wallace, to this point, has kept quiet publicly, which has in turn led to lots of speculation surrounding the stance he’s currently taking. The biggest false perception is Wallace not having signed his free agent tender – the way the other Steelers restricted free agents have – is indicative of his desire to skip offseason activities while waiting for a new deal.

It wouldn’t make any sense for him to sign it until the restricted free agency period was over (Friday). So through Friday, that perception wasn’t provable, but now that argument can be made. We shouldn’t expect him to sign, either. The longer he waits on putting himself under contract for the 2012 season, the less likely the Steelers would be to negotiate any kind of deal that would pay him more than $ 2.7 million for this season.

It’s also not typical for Steelers players to hold out during training camp (the time it really matters if a player isn’t present), even if they have contract extension expectations. LaMarr Woodley, Lawrence Timmons and Troy Polamalu all received extensions last season early in camp, and all of them reported in good faith.

Until then, both sides will play the waiting game (which as Homer says, sucks, so let’s play Hungry, Hungry Hippos instead). The Steelers will progress through the draft, likely without the contract situation acting as any kind of factor into the decisions they’ll make in five days. Wallace and Bus Cook, his agent, will continue to remain silent in the public, and both sides will likely re-visit the issue in May, before OTAs.

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

Weekend Check Down: The Top Stories of the Week


We are making our way out of the desert now. Teams have begun voluntary workouts, the regular season schedule has been unveiled, and the draft is less than a week away, among other news. But we begin with …

Mike Wallace

Unless something drastic and unexpected occurs over the next few hours (I am writing this on Friday), the free agent phase of the Mike Wallace Watch will soon come to an end. The Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette wrote an enlightening piece putting this process in a different perspective. According to the article the market for restricted free agents has always been anemic and under the terms of the new CBA players in the situation of Wallace will phase out within a year. Apparently, this was much less of a gamble for the Steelers than many have believed. Unless there is a holdout or a trade Wallace will be in a Steeler uniform for another year at least.

You would think that this development would be the cause for a sigh of relief and maybe even joy in Steeler Nation. You would be wrong. Something of a firestorm has developed around BTSC and elsewhere with folks polarizing over what to do about Mike Wallace. On one side are those who want to see Wallace back in the fold, preferably after signing a long term deal, and moving on. On the other side are those who want to cut ties, preferably through a trade. The reasons this second group cite range from what some believe is the impracticality of forging a deal acceptable to all parties given current financial realities, to those that think that Wallace is a greedy, self-deluded fraud who could be easily replaced by someone with real talent. Mike Wallace posts are popping up all over the place and for good reason. I intend to weigh in on this myself with a later post. Let me just say that I am siding with the first group. I believe Wallace will eventually sign with Pittsburgh and this will mostly be forgotten by the 4th of July, if not Mother’s Day. Plus, generally speaking, I’m a ‘bird in the hand’ kind of guy.

Somewhat obscured by all the heat surrounding Wallace is that the Steelers managed to sign…

Charlie Batch and other free agents

Quietly, Batch, Isaac Redman, Ryan Mundy and Keenan Lewis re-upped with the Steelers meaning that besides Wallace, Byron Leftwich and players that were anticipated to move on like Dennis Dixon, the team began voluntary workouts with most everyone on board. This means that in spite of expressed concerns involving the salary cap and the new financial realities of the league, the Steelers have pretty much managed to accomplish most what they normally set out to do; retain as many of their own players as they can. Like Wallace, the resigning of Batch brought some mixed reviews, but this has been normal for Charlie for the past several years. For Steelers fans the quarterback controversy involves the backups.

Voluntary workouts

There was very little coverage of this positive event as across the league teams welcomed their players for conditioning, weight training and related activities. Nationally, there was a great deal of attention paid to, whom else, Peyton Manning and the Broncos as well as Tim Tebow and the Jets. Prominent stay aways such as Drew Brees of the Saints and Maurice Jones-Drew of the Jaguars also attracted some notice. What we know about the Steelers has been provided by Steelers.com here

and here

In these two reports players such as Jerricho Cotchery, Antonio Brown, Charlie Batch, Ziggy Hood, Trai Essex, Jonathan Dwyer, Keenan Lewis and Baron Batch were quoted. Among the interesting tidbits revealed is that Big Ben was present from day one, and, even more importantly from my point of view, Running Backs Coach Kirby Wilson was in his office on day one as well. I can’t get enough of this kind of stuff.

Regular Season schedule release

I thought it was a bit much, but NFLN and ESPN made quite a deal of the announcement of the 2012 regular season schedule on Tuesday. I can understand the NFLN somewhat, after all what else do they have to do at this point in the year. But ESPN is another matter. In this regard I’m in agreement with Jason Whitlock who argues that the saturation coverage of trivial aspects of the ‘big’ sports, such as football, has led to circumstances that have diminished the visibility and impact of events such as the Olympics. Do we really need a schedule release show? I think not.

As for the schedule itself (as it relates to the Steelers) the big news was the confirmation of the rumor that Pittsburgh would be opening at Denver on Sunday night against Peyton Manning and the Broncos. To complete the theme of revenge and unfinished business, their home opener a week later is against Tim Tebow and the Jets. Other features of note are a total of five prime time games (the maximum allowed by the league), an early Bye week and the two matchups against the Ravens occurring within a three week span. The prime time games are particularly good news for Steelers fans in Diaspora who want to see the team play without having to retreat to a bar or purchase a satellite package in order to do so. There are a number of late Sunday afternoon games that may likely be national telecasts as well.

The schedule itself is not without some elements of controversy. A piece written on Wednesday by Maryrose and the accompanying thread covers a number of those issues. However, I have some concerns about one aspect of the schedule that I haven’t seen much discussion about so far.

This year the number of Thursday night games has been increased dramatically. NFLN will broadcast fourteen weeks of these games. I have two problems with this. First there is the issue of saturation. This season there will be at least one NFL game broadcast on every day of the week except for Tuesdays and Fridays. This may seem a silly argument to make, especially at this time of the year when I might make room in my schedule to watch a live broadcast of a sled drill. But you have to look at this in a larger context; because once you reach the saturation point it’s pretty hard to roll it back. On a normal football week there will be a minimum of six games (assuming no blackouts). And on special occasions such as the nine day period bracketing Thanksgiving we will be treated to thirteen. Add college games and I am willing to bet that people may begin to opt out of watching some games that they might otherwise be intrigued to watch. I already do that for the college games.

The second issue is more serious. Every team in the league will play at least one game where they are playing on only three days rest. How does this jibe with a greater concern for player safety? I certainly understand the business reasons behind this, but in some respects this reminds me of some of the concerns that were raised by the proposed eighteen game schedule. In fact, it could be argued that this accomplished the same goals (increased broadcast/ad revenues) by other means. We’ll see what the reaction to this is over time.

New throwback uniforms

Also on Tuesday in celebration of the team’s 80th Anniversary, the Steelers unveiled a new throwback uniform. Modeled by Isaac Redman, the new duds went over like a lead balloon. Likened to prison garb, public reaction was overwhelmingly negative. Player reaction was more mixed, but you have to remember that many of these guys, like Redman had just signed new contracts. What did you expect him to say standing next to Art Rooney? As for me I am finding the new uniform is starting to grow on me; sort of like camp, so bad that it’s good. I have a feeling that ultimately sales may be better than they might seem today. And the team actually wears these things they may be so distracting to opponents that it may provide a competitive advantage.

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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Steelers 2012 Schedule Out Tonight

The 2012 Steelers slate is due to come out at 7pm tonight. The team started in Baltimore a season ago, losing the opener.

Here’s the teams they will play in 2012

Home: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins

Away: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Tennessee Titans, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants

We will have the schedule here tonight as soon as it comes out at 7pm!

Source: Steelers Gab

Peyton Manning hosts the Steelers in Sunday night opener on NBC

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For the Steelers, this season will start where last season ended: In Denver. But the opposing quarterback will change. Peyton Manning and the Broncos will host the Steelers on NBC’s Sunday Night Football in Week One, according to a report from Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. It’s no surprise that the Denver debut of…

Source: ProFootballTalk » Pittsburgh Steelers

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Steelers Throwback Jerseys Are Absolutely Primal

For a franchise known for its tradition and overall “lunch pail” mentality, the new jerseys are pretty awesome, as modeled by (new starting RB?) Isaac Redman.

Source: Steelers Gab

Less than a day to go, and no RFA offer sheets have been signed

Once upon a time, restricted free agents signed offer sheets with new teams.  Sometimes, those offer sheets were matched.  Sometimes, they weren’t.  Either way, it was a key part of the player movement/contract process. Lately, restricted free agency has dried up.  In 2010, when the rules of the uncapped year pushed eligibility for unrestricted free…

Source: ProFootballTalk » Pittsburgh Steelers

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