PDA

View Full Version : Steelers on brink of losing key player



fordfixer
08-21-2008, 01:28 AM
Here we go again.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Steelers on brink of losing key player
By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, August 21, 2008
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 84066.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_584066.html)

The clock may be ticking on Marvel Smith's career in Pittsburgh.

The veteran left tackle said "it's pretty much guaranteed" that he will be playing elsewhere next season if he and the Steelers do not agree on a contract extension before the start of the regular season Sept. 7.

Smith, who protects the blind side of Pro Bowl quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, is in the final year of his contract. The Steelers have a policy of not engaging in contract negotiations during the season.

The two sides have not had any substantial talks on a contract extension.

"Everybody who knows Marvel personally is well aware that it's not all about going to the highest bidder," said Ken Zuckerman, Smith's agent. "He doesn't like change and would definitely be open to working out a contract before the season. However, once the regular season starts with no extension in place, he will be forced to enter the free-agent market."

Smith would probably cash in big time if he hit the open market.

The Miami Dolphins gave a five-year, $57.75 million deal -- $30 million is guaranteed -- to left tackle Jake Long, and he hasn't played a down in the NFL.

Long's contract is the richest ever for an offensive lineman.

Smith could get a deal similar to the one Long -- the first overall pick of the 2008 draft -- signed with the Dolphins.

Established left tackles who are still in their primes such as Smith rarely hit the open market. They are almost always re-signed by their teams because of a paucity of quality left tackles in the NFL.

The Steelers historically have been reluctant to give long-term extensions to players that have completed two contract cycles such as Smith. And Smith, who turned 30 earlier this month, missed five games last season because of back problems.

Smith had successful surgery last December, and the operation relieved the 6-foot-5, 321-pounder of a nerve problem that had caused him to lose feeling in his lower right leg at times last season.

"I feel like I've got a new lease on my career," Smith said. "I feel like I've got plenty of good years (left)."

Smith already has given the Steelers plenty of good years.

He started at right tackle as a rookie in 2000 and later made a successful transition to left tackle. Smith made the Pro Bowl in 2005 and is highly regarded at a position that is especially critical to the Steelers given the investment they made in Roethlisberger during the offseason.

"I think he's one of the better tackles, as far as (left) tackles, that I've played against," Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison said of Smith, whom he goes against every day in practice.

If Smith leaves, the Steelers don't appear to have any viable options at left tackle.

Max Starks, who filled in for Smith last season, is also in the final year of his contract, and he conceded last week that it is questionable that he will be with the Steelers next season.

Trai Essex hasn't looked like anything more than a stopgap at left tackle in the three seasons he has played for the Steelers. Rookie Tony Hills, a fourth-round draft pick, is a major project.

The Steelers could keep Smith for one season beyond 2008 by using the franchise tag on the ninth-year veteran.

However, that seems unlikely for a couple of reasons:

Teams generally use the franchise tag on a player only after they have tried to negotiate a long-term deal, and there have been no serious discussions between the Steelers and Zuckerman on an extension.

The franchise tag guarantees a player the average of the top five salaries at his position from the previous year, but it is also a risk since it may keep a player on the team against his will.

Asked if he would feel slighted if the Steelers don't offer him an extension before the season opener against the Houston Texans, Smith said, "I can't tell you how I would feel right now because I'm not trying to dwell on it. All I can do is control getting ready for the season, playing the best I can and helping the team win. It's up to them whether or not they want to do anything."
Mixed results

Coveted left tackles rarely hit free agency since teams usually re-sign them before they can test the open market. Here are some notable left tackles that signed free-agent contracts elsewhere and how they fared.

Wayne Gandy: The Saints signed the former Steeler -- 32 at the time -- to a six-year, $30 million contract in March 2003. Gandy played three seasons in New Orleans before the Saints traded him to the Falcons. Atlanta released Gandy after last season.

John Tait: The former Chief signed a six-year, $33 million deal with the Bears in March 2004. Tait had played left and right tackle for the Chiefs. He played right tackle his first season in Chicago but has since been the Bears' starting left tackle.

Jonas Jennings: The 49ers gave the former Bill a seven-year, $36 million deal in March 2005. Jennings has been a bit of a flop as injuries and ineffectiveness have plagued him in San Francisco. The 49ers have moved him to right tackle.

Scott Brown can be reached at sbrown@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432

Djfan
08-21-2008, 01:34 AM
we may need to get this done soon, huh?

fordfixer
08-21-2008, 01:44 AM
we may need to get this done soon, huh?

Kind of sounds that way

AkronSteel
08-21-2008, 01:58 AM
I think the team needs to be proactive with this situation. LT's don't grow on trees, especially ones that are of the quality of Marvel. I think the team needs to look at giving him a 3 year extension, match the same dollars per year, and give a nice guarantee.

They cannot let this guy walk and expect to replace him in FA or the draft.

:2c

Chadman
08-21-2008, 02:08 AM
Actually, chadman agrees with the way the Steelers are doing this. There are question marks over all 3 options at LT- Smith with his back, Starks with his consistancy & Essex with his abilities...

Let them play it out & settle on one, or perhaps 2, at the end of the season to keep & let the other walk.

Chadman doesn't agree with the assessment of Essex in this article either. Given limited opportunities, Essex has performed well. Add to that his good play at OG this camp, things are looking better for Trai.

frankthetank1
08-21-2008, 07:22 AM
i agree with chadman. marvel is getting up there in age and has issues with his back. id rather the steelers see what happens this season with all the o-lineman that will be fa's next year. i wish simmons was in his last year instead of marvel. when i opened this thread i assumed it was about farrior. i think im more worried about losing him than anyone.

Oviedo
08-21-2008, 07:49 AM
i agree with chadman. marvel is getting up there in age and has issues with his back. id rather the steelers see what happens this season with all the o-lineman that will be fa's next year. i wish simmons was in his last year instead of marvel. when i opened this thread i assumed it was about farrior. i think im more worried about losing him than anyone.

I agree with this agreement with Chadman :D

Smith is a good player, but not one that would not come without risk. Not sure that you can commit left tackle dollars to a player coming off back surgery until you have the data over the course of the full season to determine whether that surgery was successful.

One thing that does need to change is the Steelers' policy of not negotiating during the season. This is just plain bad business and puts the Steelers in a disadvantageous position when the free agency period opens. Negotiate during the season while you are in control of the player and can influence him. Don't wait until the feeding frenzy starts because there will always be bad teams with lots of cap space who can outspend you.

frankthetank1
08-21-2008, 07:52 AM
i agree with chadman. marvel is getting up there in age and has issues with his back. id rather the steelers see what happens this season with all the o-lineman that will be fa's next year. i wish simmons was in his last year instead of marvel. when i opened this thread i assumed it was about farrior. i think im more worried about losing him than anyone.

I agree with this agreement with Chadman :D

Smith is a good player, but not one that would not come without risk. Not sure that you can commit left tackle dollars to a player coming off back surgery until you have the data over the course of the full season to determine whether that surgery was successful.

One thing that does need to change is the Steelers' policy of not negotiating during the season. This is just plain bad business and puts the Steelers in a disadvantageous position when the free agency period opens. Negotiate during the season while you are in control of the player and can influence him. Don't wait until the feeding frenzy starts because there will always be bad teams with lots of cap space who can outspend you.

i agree i HATE the no negotiating during the season. why do they do that? do they feel psychologically a player will perform different if he gets an extension during the season? i love the rooneys and wouldnt want any other ownership, but this is the only thing i have a problem with. its just dumb

AngryAsian
08-21-2008, 08:36 AM
Why would we give a contract extension to someone with health issues? Not that they've plagued him excessively.... the guy is a solid player but back issues on an aging OL body where leverage and footwork are crucial? Let's see who emerges from the ranks this season and devote the fundage to that guy. Marvel's career is not one that I would call "stellar.".... and he's already squawking about getting a new lease on life elsewhere.

Shawn
08-21-2008, 09:04 AM
Actually, chadman agrees with the way the Steelers are doing this. There are question marks over all 3 options at LT- Smith with his back, Starks with his consistancy & Essex with his abilities...

Let them play it out & settle on one, or perhaps 2, at the end of the season to keep & let the other walk.

Chadman doesn't agree with the assessment of Essex in this article either. Given limited opportunities, Essex has performed well. Add to that his good play at OG this camp, things are looking better for Trai.

The Chadman is once again $$$.

Listen...Smith is a good LT. But, he has been plagued with injuries much of his career. Most back problems that require surgery are chronic in nature. He could be feeling great then boom...done. He is 30 y/o. Even if he takes a home team discount...he will be very pricey to re-sign. How would you guys feel if he signed a 40 million dollar contract and his surgically repaired back fails him? Smith isn't half the player Faneca was...and we didnt re-sign Faneca. I believe Smith is as good as gone.

Lets not get crazy because our OL is struggling. Thats how bad teams conduct their affairs. They let desperation dictate bad policy. Signing Smith for big money long term is not wise.

RuthlessBurgher
08-21-2008, 10:40 AM
The Miami Dolphins gave a five-year, $57.75 million deal -- $30 million is guaranteed -- to left tackle Jake Long, and he hasn't played a down in the NFL.

Long's contract is the richest ever for an offensive lineman.

Smith could get a deal similar to the one Long -- the first overall pick of the 2008 draft -- signed with the Dolphins.

This part of the article is insane. Any team that gives a guy in his 30's with chronic back issues a deal similar to the richest one ever given to an offensive lineman...they would need to have their head examined. Not even Al Davis is that stupid (okay...maybe he is; see the Javon Walker contract).

Shawn
08-21-2008, 10:42 AM
The Miami Dolphins gave a five-year, $57.75 million deal -- $30 million is guaranteed -- to left tackle Jake Long, and he hasn't played a down in the NFL.

Long's contract is the richest ever for an offensive lineman.

Smith could get a deal similar to the one Long -- the first overall pick of the 2008 draft -- signed with the Dolphins.

This part of the article is insane. Any team that gives a guy in his 30's with chronic back issues a deal similar to the richest one ever given to an offensive lineman...they would need to have their head examined. Not even Al Davis is that stupid (okay...maybe he is; see the Javon Walker contract).

I agree it's insane but that's the NFL. Marvel will demand a HUGE payday. And even at discount prices it's more than the Steelers will want to spend on an aging often hurt LT who is good but not great.

motter1975
08-21-2008, 11:03 AM
I gotta agree that Marvel shouldn't get a big huge contract (at least from us), because of his age, health issues, etc. Still think we should at least make an attempt to sign him to a modest extension (which he'll probably reject), because I just don't see where we have anyone to replace him, and I REALLY hope we won't be in a position to draft a left tackle that can come in and start day 1. Any idea about potential free agents that we could get this offseason to take his place, that wouldn't get even bigger money?

All I know, is that if he hits the open market, he will be gone, because there's always a bad team out there with plenty of cap space, that is willing to pay mega bucks because they think it will help them win RIGHT NOW. I personally think that's part of the philosophy that makes them bad teams (trying for the NOW instead of trying for consistency over the long term), but that's a whole other topic.

And to the person who said that not even Al Davis would be stupid enough to offer that kind of contract, well, I've come to the conclusion that there is NOTHING that Al Davis is not stupid enough to do!!! :lol: :lol:

Shawn
08-21-2008, 12:03 PM
I gotta agree that Marvel shouldn't get a big huge contract (at least from us), because of his age, health issues, etc. Still think we should at least make an attempt to sign him to a modest extension (which he'll probably reject), because I just don't see where we have anyone to replace him, and I REALLY hope we won't be in a position to draft a left tackle that can come in and start day 1. Any idea about potential free agents that we could get this offseason to take his place, that wouldn't get even bigger money?

All I know, is that if he hits the open market, he will be gone, because there's always a bad team out there with plenty of cap space, that is willing to pay mega bucks because they think it will help them win RIGHT NOW. I personally think that's part of the philosophy that makes them bad teams (trying for the NOW instead of trying for consistency over the long term), but that's a whole other topic.

And to the person who said that not even Al Davis would be stupid enough to offer that kind of contract, well, I've come to the conclusion that there is NOTHING that Al Davis is not stupid enough to do!!! :lol: :lol:

I believe the Steelers are convinced that Essex can replace Smith. He has had a huge camp and looks like he finally "gets it".

AkronSteel
08-21-2008, 01:27 PM
If we let Marvel go who replaces him? I like Trai alot but I'm not confident that he can be the LT of the future for this team. Do we invest a first round pick in a tackle next offseason? What happens if there isn't an LT sitting there at 32 when the team drafts? :D Is the team willing to risk putting the well being of their 100 million dollar man in the hands of a rookie tackle or Essex or Hills?

I hear what everyone is saying regarding Marvels age and health history but, I would like to see this team at least give themselves a little bit of breathing room with this situation. Sign Marvel to a three year deal approaching 28-30 million, guarantee 12 and Marvel will still be able to get a payday in 3 years from another team. He will only be 33 at the time and look at the contract AF got at age 32!

I just would feel very uncomfortable with not having experience at LT next year!

papillon
08-21-2008, 02:41 PM
Actually, chadman agrees with the way the Steelers are doing this. There are question marks over all 3 options at LT- Smith with his back, Starks with his consistancy & Essex with his abilities...

Let them play it out & settle on one, or perhaps 2, at the end of the season to keep & let the other walk.

Chadman doesn't agree with the assessment of Essex in this article either. Given limited opportunities, Essex has performed well. Add to that his good play at OG this camp, things are looking better for Trai.

The Chadman is once again $$$.

Listen...Smith is a good LT. But, he has been plagued with injuries much of his career. Most back problems that require surgery are chronic in nature. He could be feeling great then boom...done. He is 30 y/o. Even if he takes a home team discount...he will be very pricey to re-sign. How would you guys feel if he signed a 40 million dollar contract and his surgically repaired back fails him? Smith isn't half the player Faneca was...and we didnt re-sign Faneca. I believe Smith is as good as gone.

Lets not get crazy because our OL is struggling. Thats how bad teams conduct their affairs. They let desperation dictate bad policy. Signing Smith for big money long term is not wise.

Who we can't afford to lose is Ben and Smith is his best friend whether he knows it or not. He rarely gets pressure from the outside and from the blind side and that's a nice comfortable feeling to have as a quarterback. Pressure up the middle or from your right (if you're right handed) can be seen and either avoided or minimize the blow (except Bart Scott's).

I would like to see Smith signed he's our best option at LT. Let Starks (He won't be getting offers, he didn't get them this year) and Essex battle for the backup spot.

Pappy

Shawn
08-21-2008, 04:44 PM
If we let Marvel go who replaces him? I like Trai alot but I'm not confident that he can be the LT of the future for this team. Do we invest a first round pick in a tackle next offseason? What happens if there isn't an LT sitting there at 32 when the team drafts? :D Is the team willing to risk putting the well being of their 100 million dollar man in the hands of a rookie tackle or Essex or Hills?

I hear what everyone is saying regarding Marvels age and health history but, I would like to see this team at least give themselves a little bit of breathing room with this situation. Sign Marvel to a three year deal approaching 28-30 million, guarantee 12 and Marvel will still be able to get a payday in 3 years from another team. He will only be 33 at the time and look at the contract AF got at age 32!

I just would feel very uncomfortable with not having experience at LT next year!

I'm willing to bet that Essex is next years starting LT.

AkronSteel
08-21-2008, 05:23 PM
If we let Marvel go who replaces him? I like Trai alot but I'm not confident that he can be the LT of the future for this team. Do we invest a first round pick in a tackle next offseason? What happens if there isn't an LT sitting there at 32 when the team drafts? :D Is the team willing to risk putting the well being of their 100 million dollar man in the hands of a rookie tackle or Essex or Hills?

I hear what everyone is saying regarding Marvels age and health history but, I would like to see this team at least give themselves a little bit of breathing room with this situation. Sign Marvel to a three year deal approaching 28-30 million, guarantee 12 and Marvel will still be able to get a payday in 3 years from another team. He will only be 33 at the time and look at the contract AF got at age 32!

I just would feel very uncomfortable with not having experience at LT next year!

I'm willing to bet that Essex is next years starting LT.

Are we all as fans comfortable with Essex being our starting LT? I like the guy but I wouldn't say that I would be comfortable as things stand now with him being the teams starting LT. I think the guy has good potential and seems to be just coming into his own, but that would be a big risk to take! To me he seems like a better replacement for the overpaid Simmons, or move Colon inside and let Trai play RT.

:2c

SteelerNation1
08-21-2008, 05:26 PM
If we let Marvel go who replaces him? I like Trai alot but I'm not confident that he can be the LT of the future for this team. Do we invest a first round pick in a tackle next offseason? What happens if there isn't an LT sitting there at 32 when the team drafts? :D Is the team willing to risk putting the well being of their 100 million dollar man in the hands of a rookie tackle or Essex or Hills?

I hear what everyone is saying regarding Marvels age and health history but, I would like to see this team at least give themselves a little bit of breathing room with this situation. Sign Marvel to a three year deal approaching 28-30 million, guarantee 12 and Marvel will still be able to get a payday in 3 years from another team. He will only be 33 at the time and look at the contract AF got at age 32!

I just would feel very uncomfortable with not having experience at LT next year!

I'm willing to bet that Essex is next years starting LT.
You may be right. We cannot lose Essex, Starks, Kemo, and Smith after 08 (all are UFA). The FO has to extend one by the start of this season.

AkronSteel
08-21-2008, 06:00 PM
If we let Marvel go who replaces him? I like Trai alot but I'm not confident that he can be the LT of the future for this team. Do we invest a first round pick in a tackle next offseason? What happens if there isn't an LT sitting there at 32 when the team drafts? :D Is the team willing to risk putting the well being of their 100 million dollar man in the hands of a rookie tackle or Essex or Hills?

I hear what everyone is saying regarding Marvels age and health history but, I would like to see this team at least give themselves a little bit of breathing room with this situation. Sign Marvel to a three year deal approaching 28-30 million, guarantee 12 and Marvel will still be able to get a payday in 3 years from another team. He will only be 33 at the time and look at the contract AF got at age 32!

I just would feel very uncomfortable with not having experience at LT next year!

I'm willing to bet that Essex is next years starting LT.
You may be right. We cannot lose Essex, Starks, Kemo, and Smith after 08 (all are UFA). The FO has to extend one by the start of this season.

The only proven guy on this list is Smith. I don't wanna see the team give an extension to Kemo or Essex w/o a proven background. If the team can resign Kemo and Essex after the season to a quality contract after they have proven that they can perform on a consistent season long basis then I'm all for it. I just don't wanna see the team blindly give a contract to a player that has not proven his credentials on the field.

Shawn
08-21-2008, 06:21 PM
If we let Marvel go who replaces him? I like Trai alot but I'm not confident that he can be the LT of the future for this team. Do we invest a first round pick in a tackle next offseason? What happens if there isn't an LT sitting there at 32 when the team drafts? :D Is the team willing to risk putting the well being of their 100 million dollar man in the hands of a rookie tackle or Essex or Hills?

I hear what everyone is saying regarding Marvels age and health history but, I would like to see this team at least give themselves a little bit of breathing room with this situation. Sign Marvel to a three year deal approaching 28-30 million, guarantee 12 and Marvel will still be able to get a payday in 3 years from another team. He will only be 33 at the time and look at the contract AF got at age 32!

I just would feel very uncomfortable with not having experience at LT next year!

I'm willing to bet that Essex is next years starting LT.

Are we all as fans comfortable with Essex being our starting LT? I like the guy but I wouldn't say that I would be comfortable as things stand now with him being the teams starting LT. I think the guy has good potential and seems to be just coming into his own, but that would be a big risk to take! To me he seems like a better replacement for the overpaid Simmons, or move Colon inside and let Trai play RT.

:2c

I don't think it matters much if we are comfortable with it. Essex has had a terrific camp and the Steelers just don't pay aging OL guys big money. I think the writing is on the wall.

Shawn
08-21-2008, 06:24 PM
If we let Marvel go who replaces him? I like Trai alot but I'm not confident that he can be the LT of the future for this team. Do we invest a first round pick in a tackle next offseason? What happens if there isn't an LT sitting there at 32 when the team drafts? :D Is the team willing to risk putting the well being of their 100 million dollar man in the hands of a rookie tackle or Essex or Hills?

I hear what everyone is saying regarding Marvels age and health history but, I would like to see this team at least give themselves a little bit of breathing room with this situation. Sign Marvel to a three year deal approaching 28-30 million, guarantee 12 and Marvel will still be able to get a payday in 3 years from another team. He will only be 33 at the time and look at the contract AF got at age 32!

I just would feel very uncomfortable with not having experience at LT next year!

I'm willing to bet that Essex is next years starting LT.
You may be right. We cannot lose Essex, Starks, Kemo, and Smith after 08 (all are UFA). The FO has to extend one by the start of this season.

We will only sign 2 of the 4. It would be wise for us to sign Kemo now...but I dont think it will happen. We will sign Essex next offseason. Smith and Starks are gone.

Steel Life
08-21-2008, 10:17 PM
I think the team needs to see that he's truly healthy before extending him - especially since he's on the wrong side of 30.

But my feeling is that either Max or Essex will be the short-term starter at LT, while the draft will yield one, if not two, OTs (like Jason Watkins of Florida or Jose Valdez of Arkansas) that will groomed to start soon.

Shawn
08-21-2008, 10:23 PM
I think the team needs to see that he's truly healthy before extending him - especially since he's on the wrong side of 30.

But my feeling is that either Max or Essex will be the short-term starter at LT, while the draft will yield one, if not two, OTs (like Jason Watkins of Florida or Jose Valdez of Arkansas) that will groomed to start soon.

I keep hearing the discussion about franchising him. The only way I see this happening is if Smith stays healthy (doubtful), plays well (probable if he could stay healthy), and if Essex proves to not be a viable option. But even then I cant imagine signing him long term. Nearly every season we are faced with the option of signing an aging vet. More times than not...they are gone. I just don't see the Steelers signing him.

Steel Life
08-21-2008, 10:35 PM
I think the team needs to see that he's truly healthy before extending him - especially since he's on the wrong side of 30.

But my feeling is that either Max or Essex will be the short-term starter at LT, while the draft will yield one, if not two, OTs (like Jason Watkins of Florida or Jose Valdez of Arkansas) that will groomed to start soon.

I keep hearing the discussion about franchising him. The only way I see this happening is if Smith stays healthy (doubtful), plays well (probable if he could stay healthy), and if Essex proves to not be a viable option. But even then I cant imagine signing him long term. Nearly every season we are faced with the option of signing an aging vet. More times than not...they are gone. I just don't see the Steelers signing him.

I agree, that's why I think they find/sign some short-timer (Max/Essex?) & find immediate help in the draft.

Shawn
08-21-2008, 11:09 PM
[quote="Steel Life":2k4rnif1]I think the team needs to see that he's truly healthy before extending him - especially since he's on the wrong side of 30.

But my feeling is that either Max or Essex will be the short-term starter at LT, while the draft will yield one, if not two, OTs (like Jason Watkins of Florida or Jose Valdez of Arkansas) that will groomed to start soon.

I keep hearing the discussion about franchising him. The only way I see this happening is if Smith stays healthy (doubtful), plays well (probable if he could stay healthy), and if Essex proves to not be a viable option. But even then I cant imagine signing him long term. Nearly every season we are faced with the option of signing an aging vet. More times than not...they are gone. I just don't see the Steelers signing him.

I agree, that's why I think they find/sign some short-timer (Max/Essex?) & find immediate help in the draft.[/quote:2k4rnif1]

Agreed they will sign Essex on the cheap...and there he will be until they can groom a young replacement. Who knows Essex might finally bloom into that talent he was drafted to be. Like it or not...our line is getting alot younger....and I believe Tomlin said he wanted to get younger in the trenches.

AkronSteel
08-21-2008, 11:15 PM
[quote="Steel Life":2ipq2vs6]I think the team needs to see that he's truly healthy before extending him - especially since he's on the wrong side of 30.

But my feeling is that either Max or Essex will be the short-term starter at LT, while the draft will yield one, if not two, OTs (like Jason Watkins of Florida or Jose Valdez of Arkansas) that will groomed to start soon.

I keep hearing the discussion about franchising him. The only way I see this happening is if Smith stays healthy (doubtful), plays well (probable if he could stay healthy), and if Essex proves to not be a viable option. But even then I cant imagine signing him long term. Nearly every season we are faced with the option of signing an aging vet. More times than not...they are gone. I just don't see the Steelers signing him.

I agree, that's why I think they find/sign some short-timer (Max/Essex?) & find immediate help in the draft.[/quote:2ipq2vs6]

I don't wanna see the team reaching for a certain position in the draft. This theory of drafting never works. I don't want the team to be in a position where they have to draft just for a certain spot. If the team would have done that this year we wouldn't have ended up with Mendy. I think that is a dangerous way to manuever through this situation.

Steel Life
08-21-2008, 11:33 PM
[quote="Steel Life":2hy0esnc]I think the team needs to see that he's truly healthy before extending him - especially since he's on the wrong side of 30.

But my feeling is that either Max or Essex will be the short-term starter at LT, while the draft will yield one, if not two, OTs (like Jason Watkins of Florida or Jose Valdez of Arkansas) that will groomed to start soon.

I keep hearing the discussion about franchising him. The only way I see this happening is if Smith stays healthy (doubtful), plays well (probable if he could stay healthy), and if Essex proves to not be a viable option. But even then I cant imagine signing him long term. Nearly every season we are faced with the option of signing an aging vet. More times than not...they are gone. I just don't see the Steelers signing him.

I agree, that's why I think they find/sign some short-timer (Max/Essex?) & find immediate help in the draft.

I don't wanna see the team reaching for a certain position in the draft. This theory of drafting never works. I don't want the team to be in a position where they have to draft just for a certain spot. If the team would have done that this year we wouldn't have ended up with Mendy. I think that is a dangerous way to manuever through this situation.[/quote:2hy0esnc]
Akron - I don't know if they'd reach unless a player they loved was tantalizingly close (ala Troy). But at this point next year's draft-class seems stocked with OT talent (plus the always random rise of some previously unknown guy - like Albert this year) & some decent player could be had form the 2nd round on. Personally I would still rather see the team grab one center (Alex Mack specifically), a stud D-Lineman like Jackson & a quality OT (the aforementioned Watkins, Valdez or Fenuki Tupou of Oregon) who all could be available from the 3rd round on. Either way, we need two potential starters on the O-Line from next year's draft to re-build this line r Ben is going to have a short career.

Oviedo
08-22-2008, 09:30 AM
Smith says he wants to stay. Well he needs to put his signature on the line and do a cap friendly "hometown discount" just like Farrior. It is a two way street no the burden of the front office to sign these guys. If Smith wants to stay, the only person stopping him is Smith. Just like last year with Faneca. he could have stayed in a minute, but he never wanted to stay he wanted to be paid more than anyone else at his position.

The reality is that we really have to consider Essex and Starks as possible options for next year at LT. We will not have a bad enough record to have any chance of drafting one of the top LT who would remootely have the ability to start. Those couple of players will be gone in the top 5-10. We also won't have the option in free agency because LT get premium prices.

I'd love to resign Smith and have him play LT and eventually move to RT when Hills is ready (I think he will be as he is getting better). But bottom line, it is totally up to Smith.

phillyesq
08-22-2008, 10:45 AM
Count me among those who agree with Chadman.

I'd like to see a wait and see approach. If he was healthy, extending him is a no brainer. But he has to prove his health first. If he has a great year, then franchise him, and either bring him back year to year, or trade him for picks. Otherwise, part ways.

Shawn
08-22-2008, 11:22 AM
Smith says he wants to stay. Well he needs to put his signature on the line and do a cap friendly "hometown discount" just like Farrior. It is a two way street no the burden of the front office to sign these guys. If Smith wants to stay, the only person stopping him is Smith. Just like last year with Faneca. he could have stayed in a minute, but he never wanted to stay he wanted to be paid more than anyone else at his position.

The reality is that we really have to consider Essex and Starks as possible options for next year at LT. We will not have a bad enough record to have any chance of drafting one of the top LT who would remootely have the ability to start. Those couple of players will be gone in the top 5-10. We also won't have the option in free agency because LT get premium prices.

I'd love to resign Smith and have him play LT and eventually move to RT when Hills is ready (I think he will be as he is getting better). But bottom line, it is totally up to Smith.

The big difference here is Smith on the open market is worth around 40 million. Farrior...not even close. Farrior did take some discount to stay but 33 y/o LBs don't sign their own paychecks. It will take at least 35+ million to sign Smith...even at a discount.

I agree with the sentiment that we should wait and see...then at the end of the season if he played well, has a healthy back, and Essex proves to be a chump...franchise him and draft a first round LT. But, my suspicion is Essex will continue to grow...they let Smith go...and Essex is our starting LT next season. Just a gut feeling.

Oviedo
08-22-2008, 12:49 PM
Smith says he wants to stay. Well he needs to put his signature on the line and do a cap friendly "hometown discount" just like Farrior. It is a two way street no the burden of the front office to sign these guys. If Smith wants to stay, the only person stopping him is Smith. Just like last year with Faneca. he could have stayed in a minute, but he never wanted to stay he wanted to be paid more than anyone else at his position.

The reality is that we really have to consider Essex and Starks as possible options for next year at LT. We will not have a bad enough record to have any chance of drafting one of the top LT who would remootely have the ability to start. Those couple of players will be gone in the top 5-10. We also won't have the option in free agency because LT get premium prices.

I'd love to resign Smith and have him play LT and eventually move to RT when Hills is ready (I think he will be as he is getting better). But bottom line, it is totally up to Smith.

The big difference here is Smith on the open market is worth around 40 million. Farrior...not even close. Farrior did take some discount to stay but 33 y/o LBs don't sign their own paychecks. It will take at least 35+ million to sign Smith...even at a discount.

I agree with the sentiment that we should wait and see...then at the end of the season if he played well, has a healthy back, and Essex proves to be a chump...franchise him and draft a first round LT. But, my suspicion is Essex will continue to grow...they let Smith go...and Essex is our starting LT next season. Just a gut feeling.

Once again, up to Smith. He can choose to resign with the Steelers now on their terms or play the season and see how things pan out. If he gets hurt during the season he will be worth a lot less than $40. If its me, I take the sure thing.

I do agree that Essex or Starks will be our LT next year. Probably Essex because of price. I think he will be adequete, but not great.

papillon
08-22-2008, 01:41 PM
Smith says he wants to stay. Well he needs to put his signature on the line and do a cap friendly "hometown discount" just like Farrior. It is a two way street no the burden of the front office to sign these guys. If Smith wants to stay, the only person stopping him is Smith. Just like last year with Faneca. he could have stayed in a minute, but he never wanted to stay he wanted to be paid more than anyone else at his position.

The reality is that we really have to consider Essex and Starks as possible options for next year at LT. We will not have a bad enough record to have any chance of drafting one of the top LT who would remootely have the ability to start. Those couple of players will be gone in the top 5-10. We also won't have the option in free agency because LT get premium prices.

I'd love to resign Smith and have him play LT and eventually move to RT when Hills is ready (I think he will be as he is getting better). But bottom line, it is totally up to Smith.

The big difference here is Smith on the open market is worth around 40 million. Farrior...not even close. Farrior did take some discount to stay but 33 y/o LBs don't sign their own paychecks. It will take at least 35+ million to sign Smith...even at a discount.

I agree with the sentiment that we should wait and see...then at the end of the season if he played well, has a healthy back, and Essex proves to be a chump...franchise him and draft a first round LT. But, my suspicion is Essex will continue to grow...they let Smith go...and Essex is our starting LT next season. Just a gut feeling.

Ben was guaranteed 36 million, there's no way on God's green earth that an LT is going to get the same guaranteed amount as Ben and, that's from any team.

Pappy

Shawn
08-22-2008, 03:57 PM
Smith says he wants to stay. Well he needs to put his signature on the line and do a cap friendly "hometown discount" just like Farrior. It is a two way street no the burden of the front office to sign these guys. If Smith wants to stay, the only person stopping him is Smith. Just like last year with Faneca. he could have stayed in a minute, but he never wanted to stay he wanted to be paid more than anyone else at his position.

The reality is that we really have to consider Essex and Starks as possible options for next year at LT. We will not have a bad enough record to have any chance of drafting one of the top LT who would remootely have the ability to start. Those couple of players will be gone in the top 5-10. We also won't have the option in free agency because LT get premium prices.

I'd love to resign Smith and have him play LT and eventually move to RT when Hills is ready (I think he will be as he is getting better). But bottom line, it is totally up to Smith.

The big difference here is Smith on the open market is worth around 40 million. Farrior...not even close. Farrior did take some discount to stay but 33 y/o LBs don't sign their own paychecks. It will take at least 35+ million to sign Smith...even at a discount.

I agree with the sentiment that we should wait and see...then at the end of the season if he played well, has a healthy back, and Essex proves to be a chump...franchise him and draft a first round LT. But, my suspicion is Essex will continue to grow...they let Smith go...and Essex is our starting LT next season. Just a gut feeling.

Once again, up to Smith. He can choose to resign with the Steelers now on their terms or play the season and see how things pan out. If he gets hurt during the season he will be worth a lot less than $40. If its me, I take the sure thing.

I do agree that Essex or Starks will be our LT next year. Probably Essex because of price. I think he will be adequete, but not great.
Have the Steelers offered Smith a contract? If not how is it up to Smith?

Shawn
08-22-2008, 04:00 PM
Smith says he wants to stay. Well he needs to put his signature on the line and do a cap friendly "hometown discount" just like Farrior. It is a two way street no the burden of the front office to sign these guys. If Smith wants to stay, the only person stopping him is Smith. Just like last year with Faneca. he could have stayed in a minute, but he never wanted to stay he wanted to be paid more than anyone else at his position.

The reality is that we really have to consider Essex and Starks as possible options for next year at LT. We will not have a bad enough record to have any chance of drafting one of the top LT who would remootely have the ability to start. Those couple of players will be gone in the top 5-10. We also won't have the option in free agency because LT get premium prices.

I'd love to resign Smith and have him play LT and eventually move to RT when Hills is ready (I think he will be as he is getting better). But bottom line, it is totally up to Smith.

The big difference here is Smith on the open market is worth around 40 million. Farrior...not even close. Farrior did take some discount to stay but 33 y/o LBs don't sign their own paychecks. It will take at least 35+ million to sign Smith...even at a discount.

I agree with the sentiment that we should wait and see...then at the end of the season if he played well, has a healthy back, and Essex proves to be a chump...franchise him and draft a first round LT. But, my suspicion is Essex will continue to grow...they let Smith go...and Essex is our starting LT next season. Just a gut feeling.

Ben was guaranteed 36 million, there's no way on God's green earth that an LT is going to get the same guaranteed amount as Ben and, that's from any team.

Pappy

When did I say guaranteed?

Check this out.

http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/7859770/Jets,-Faneca-agree-to-5-year,-$40-million-deal

40 million for a Guard. Smith isn't Faneca but he is a LT. The money will be similar.

papillon
08-22-2008, 04:23 PM
Smith says he wants to stay. Well he needs to put his signature on the line and do a cap friendly "hometown discount" just like Farrior. It is a two way street no the burden of the front office to sign these guys. If Smith wants to stay, the only person stopping him is Smith. Just like last year with Faneca. he could have stayed in a minute, but he never wanted to stay he wanted to be paid more than anyone else at his position.

The reality is that we really have to consider Essex and Starks as possible options for next year at LT. We will not have a bad enough record to have any chance of drafting one of the top LT who would remootely have the ability to start. Those couple of players will be gone in the top 5-10. We also won't have the option in free agency because LT get premium prices.

I'd love to resign Smith and have him play LT and eventually move to RT when Hills is ready (I think he will be as he is getting better). But bottom line, it is totally up to Smith.

The big difference here is Smith on the open market is worth around 40 million. Farrior...not even close. Farrior did take some discount to stay but 33 y/o LBs don't sign their own paychecks. It will take at least 35+ million to sign Smith...even at a discount.

I agree with the sentiment that we should wait and see...then at the end of the season if he played well, has a healthy back, and Essex proves to be a chump...franchise him and draft a first round LT. But, my suspicion is Essex will continue to grow...they let Smith go...and Essex is our starting LT next season. Just a gut feeling.

Ben was guaranteed 36 million, there's no way on God's green earth that an LT is going to get the same guaranteed amount as Ben and, that's from any team.

Pappy

When did I say guaranteed?

Check this out.

http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/7859770/Jets,-Faneca-agree-to-5-year,-$40-million-deal

40 million for a Guard. Smith isn't Faneca but he is a LT. The money will be similar.

The guaranteed amount is all that is important and when it's to be paid. Highly unlikely that Farrior sees the end of his contract, same with Ben and pretty much any other player. They either retire or renegotiate. The guaranteed dollars are the important piece.

Pappy

Shawn
08-22-2008, 05:15 PM
Smith says he wants to stay. Well he needs to put his signature on the line and do a cap friendly "hometown discount" just like Farrior. It is a two way street no the burden of the front office to sign these guys. If Smith wants to stay, the only person stopping him is Smith. Just like last year with Faneca. he could have stayed in a minute, but he never wanted to stay he wanted to be paid more than anyone else at his position.

The reality is that we really have to consider Essex and Starks as possible options for next year at LT. We will not have a bad enough record to have any chance of drafting one of the top LT who would remootely have the ability to start. Those couple of players will be gone in the top 5-10. We also won't have the option in free agency because LT get premium prices.

I'd love to resign Smith and have him play LT and eventually move to RT when Hills is ready (I think he will be as he is getting better). But bottom line, it is totally up to Smith.

The big difference here is Smith on the open market is worth around 40 million. Farrior...not even close. Farrior did take some discount to stay but 33 y/o LBs don't sign their own paychecks. It will take at least 35+ million to sign Smith...even at a discount.

I agree with the sentiment that we should wait and see...then at the end of the season if he played well, has a healthy back, and Essex proves to be a chump...franchise him and draft a first round LT. But, my suspicion is Essex will continue to grow...they let Smith go...and Essex is our starting LT next season. Just a gut feeling.

Ben was guaranteed 36 million, there's no way on God's green earth that an LT is going to get the same guaranteed amount as Ben and, that's from any team.

Pappy

When did I say guaranteed?

Check this out.

http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/7859770/Jets,-Faneca-agree-to-5-year,-$40-million-deal

40 million for a Guard. Smith isn't Faneca but he is a LT. The money will be similar.

The guaranteed amount is all that is important and when it's to be paid. Highly unlikely that Farrior sees the end of his contract, same with Ben and pretty much any other player. They either retire or renegotiate. The guaranteed dollars are the important piece.

Pappy

Anyway you want to describe it...Smith will get Faneca money. The Steelers will not pay Faneca money. Smith is a Cardinal. Essex starts next season.