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Steelhere10
02-05-2009, 05:25 PM
Joey Porter was under contract two years ago right until the time the Steelers released him to save about $5 million and make room for James Harrison at outside linebacker.

Now Harrison has one year left on his contract and the two sides have talked about a new one. Harrison, the NFL's defensive player of the year whose stunning 100-yard interception return helped the Steelers win Super Bowl XLIII, is in for a huge raise in pay.

"I was hoping we'd get $100," his Pittsburgh agent, Bill Parise, said with a laugh yesterday from Honolulu, where he joined Harrison for this week's Pro Bowl activities.

Harrison, who signed his current contract before the 2006 season when he was a backup linebacker, has been among the game's best bargains the past two years, perhaps the best. He earned a $1.2 million salary the past season and $1.1 million in 2007, his first as a starter. He led them in sacks both years and set their record with 16 this season. He is set to make $1.4 million next season. Those figures do not include any incentives he might have picked up.

"We have had discussions, not negotiated, but we have talked," Parise said. "I think the Steelers and I are on the same page. We don't think there will be any issues. My goal and, I think, theirs is the same. We know what we need to do and we'll both go about the business of trying to get it done."

Parise believes a deal can be wrapped up fairly quickly.

"I'm not worried about the Steelers at all. Their history shows they do the right thing at the right time."

The Steelers have many players in Harrison's spot, entering the final years of their contracts, and most of them likely want extensions. Traditionally, the Steelers look to negotiate extensions before a player enters the final year of his deal, but they don't do it with all of those players.

The list involves more big-name players than their pending free agents. Among other starters or longtime veterans with one year left on their contracts are wide receiver Hines Ward, defensive end Brett Keisel, tight end Heath Miller, safety Ryan Clark, kicker Jeff Reed, nose tackle Casey Hampton, cornerback Deshea Townsend and linebacker Larry Foote.

No doubt, they will try to extend the contracts of some.

"He certainly merits consideration'' said Keisel's agent, Eric Metz.

They will have to make tougher decisions on others.

For example, Larry Foote could be this year's Porter. He has one year left on a contract that will pay him $2,885,000, not outlandish for a starting linebacker. However, he has Lawrence Timmons behind him, and the No. 1 draft choice in 2007 is ready to start. Do they keep Foote one more year at that salary, even if they promote Timmons to that spot? Ask him to take a cut, and release him if he does not? Sources close to Foote say he will not accept a cut in pay.

Foote is a good man to have around, and with Timmons gave the Steelers plenty of flexibility at linebacker. This also is a team that paid Max Starks $6.9 million as a "backup" and look how that turned out.

All that does not even count their unrestricted free agents: Starks, Bryant McFadden, Marvel Smith, Nate Washington, Chris Kemoeatu, Trai Essex, Charlie Batch, Byron Leftwich, Keyaron Fox, Andre Frazier, Orpheus Roye, Mitch Berger and Fernando Bryant.

Some, like Berger, won't receive an offer. Some won't receive one until they look at other offers in free agency. Some will receive offers before Feb. 27.

The Steelers also must decide which restricted free agents to offer tenders and how much. The most notable is starting right tackle Willie Colon.

Steelhere10
02-05-2009, 05:35 PM
Ward, Hampton, and Townsend is good as gone next year. and Foote is out the door this year with Harrison due for a raise.

Steelhere10
02-05-2009, 05:36 PM
discuss :Steel

Djfan
02-05-2009, 06:09 PM
Did you say Ward is good as gone next year?

Also, Fox is worth keeping.

Mel Blount's G
02-05-2009, 06:14 PM
Ward better retire as a steeler or it will be akin to when we let Franco go. As backward as it may sound, certain things just need to take priority over "business" imo. Also, as willing as the Steelers were to pay out hines after he held out of camp a few years ago, I hope Hines is willing to take some lesser money (to free up money for those hitting their prime i.e Deebo, Keisel, etc..) and accept a lesser role yet remain and retire a Steeler.


Hampton would be tough but not impossible to replace

Mel Blount's G
02-05-2009, 07:57 PM
Hines Ward, defensive end Brett Keisel, tight end Heath Miller, safety Ryan Clark, kicker Jeff Reed, nose tackle Casey Hampton, cornerback Deshea Townsend and linebacker Larry Foote.
Ward - see comments in my above post

Keisel - Is becoming an Aaron Smith-like stalwart on the other side. Doesn't make a lot of "splash" plays but knows the system inside out and rarely misses his assignment. Re-sign him as he shouldn't break the bank since he remained mostly off the radar (or has he?)

Miller: TE with rare combo of blocking, route running, catching and YAC skills. Really, hard to find a weakness in his game. Spaeth is decent but he is NO Miller. Give him a long term deal please

Clark: Has shown great attitude and leadership qualities since arriving in Pitt not to mention almost never misses an over-the-top safety help assignment. For this I suspect Tomlin is big on Ryan. His willingness to sacrifice his body to wear down the bodies of opposing pass catchers is the cherry on top. Re-sign him as hopefully doesn't pull a Chris Hope and want top safety money like he did.

Reed: Has been nothing but money. Also, his kickoffs weren't as short this year as they had been the previous year. And remember Tomlin's comment? "You can't ice a psychopath." :lol: Who would fill all the sports-celebrities-sightings blogs for the steelers if he wasn't here? Organize the hot tub parties and Jägermeister shot competitions? No, Skippy would leave a unfillable void if not resigned.

Hampton: Speaking of unfillable voids, he had a better year tham most of us expected after the training camp criticisms and he's been the anchor of that front 7 for years. But I'd really hate to sign him to a HUGE long term contract though if I thought he's on the down slide of his career. Still, the down slide of his career is proabably still better than the upside of a lesser NT's career. Tough for sure but he may command a bank vault of doe that another 3-4 team will toss at him. Time to draft and groom a dt/nt this year (Pat Sims for the bungles looked good, too bad he didn't last another 11 picks. Sorry Bruce Davis)?

Deshea: Seems to be our best big play/int CB year after year. But if mcfadden's going to get a huge payday from us then deshea may be signing elsewhere (like new england!). Either way it's time to find another CB in this year's draft.

Foote: Wouldn't blame him for taking a starting job and bigger $$ in his hometown Detroit. We obviously have groomed his replacement. Used to rag on Larry but came to respect his intelligent play. Will miss him if he does go for the bigger $$.


Conclusion: Could live with losing Hampton, Deshea and Foote if it couldn't be avoided and worked out for the benefit of the TEAM (assuming they want long term, big money contracts). Hard to find any benefit in losing the others (assuming they can be had at fair market-value prices)

Steelhere10
02-05-2009, 11:13 PM
MBG i agree with every thing you have said. also remember the Steeler hardly ever sign players to that last contract = Hines, Townsend and maybe Hampt.

Flasteel
02-05-2009, 11:34 PM
MBG i agree with every thing you have said. also remember the Steeler hardly ever sign players to that last contract = Hines, Townsend and maybe Hampt.

Tell that to James Farrior. Hines Ward will retire a Steeler in the same fashion.

TallyStiller
02-08-2009, 04:51 PM
Hampton is the most overrated player on the team. Contrary to popular belief, he rarely commands a double team anymore, and he doesn't play on passing downs. How much drop off did we honestly see in the D when Casey was lost for the season in '04? WAY too costly for the level of productivity he brings.

No Casey = significant savings to spend at multiple other slots. The truly bold move would be to cut him and use the savings now to shore up other areas, but I don't see us doing it. That'd be almost Belichickian, and our organization just doesn't treat people that way, which is why we're vastly more respected.

100$handshake
02-08-2009, 05:53 PM
Ryan Clark is a guy I wouldn't resign. I love the guy and appreciate everything he's done here. But when you sign a player you're paying for what he will do for you not what he has done . The way he's played this year i see him wearing out physically and not worth the risk over the next couple years.

100$handshake
02-08-2009, 05:57 PM
This is an interesting subject to consider. How do you wind down your investment in guys like Farrior, Hines, Hampton, Clark? Remember one of the reasons the team deteriorated in the 80's was we hung on to too many players too long.

msp26505
02-08-2009, 06:07 PM
Ryan Clark is a guy I wouldn't resign. I love the guy and appreciate everything he's done here. But when you sign a player you're paying for what he will do for you not what he has done . The way he's played this year i see him wearing out physically and not worth the risk over the next couple years.

Perhaps, but I think that at his position intelligence and an understanding of the system play a huge role in a player's value.

If they think his body will hold up, I think he's a good investment.

Steelhere10
02-08-2009, 07:34 PM
Tally i agree about Hampton , i believe that stunt he pulled this season with his weight and condition might get him out of town earlier than expected.

AngryAsian
02-09-2009, 01:04 AM
Secure the following players this offseason=

Harrison, Starks, Ward, Clark, Keisel, Miller, Reed.... anybody else can say bu-bye.

Steelhere10
02-09-2009, 08:32 AM
Secure the following players this offseason=

Harrison, Starks, Ward, Clark, Keisel, Miller, Reed.... anybody else can say bu-bye.i agree with all with the exception being Ward. because Holmes will have 2 years left on his contract, unless Ward take a HUGE PAYCUT.

calmkiller
02-09-2009, 11:42 AM
Secure the following players this offseason=

Harrison, Starks, Ward, Clark, Keisel, Miller, Reed.... anybody else can say bu-bye.

I agree with everyone except Starks. Let that bum go. I think I would try and Trade Hampton now. Let Hoke be the starter and find a young DT in the draft. Hines Ward will retire a Steeler. No argument. Get it done.

Oviedo
02-09-2009, 11:49 AM
So many of you guys are totally unrealistic about the Starks situation. It doesn't matter if you think what he signed for last year was too much because the reality was that signing may have saved our season and won the Super Bowl. Starks gave up the fewest number of sacks on the OL playing the most demanding position on the OL. Is there a problem with that? If so, do you ever watch games because the problems on the OL were Kemo, Stapleton and Colon not Starks.

Starks is as much as a must sign as any player on the team. There is no Plan B without him. All indications are that he is a "good team guy." The Steelers value that. You can dream all you want about signing FA Left Tackles but it won't happen. It's Max or nothing and nothing gets Ben killed next year.

papillon
02-09-2009, 12:27 PM
So many of you guys are totally unrealistic about the Starks situation. It doesn't matter if you think what he signed for last year was too much because the reality was that signing may have saved our season and won the Super Bowl. Starks gave up the fewest number of sacks on the OL playing the most demanding position on the OL. Is there a problem with that? If so, do you ever watch games because the problems on the OL were Kemo, Stapleton and Colon not Starks.

Starks is as much as a must sign as any player on the team. There is no Plan B without him. All indications are that he is a "good team guy." The Steelers value that. You can dream all you want about signing FA Left Tackles but it won't happen. It's Max or nothing and nothing gets Ben killed next year.

:Agree I'm not sure why the hate for Starks. My guess is because we're discrediting the offensive line and he's part of it, so, he must take some blame as well. I'm sure Ben would like to see him back, even though that's his blind side, Ben does well escaping from outside pass rushers. It's the immediate pressure up the middle from a blown assignment that doesn't allow Ben to get out of the pocket.

That being said, Kemo, Hartwig and Stapleton need to be reevaluated this off season. The Steelers could probably live with Colon again as well. The interior guys are the ones that seemed to not get push on the goal line and missed assignments.

Pappy

Oviedo
02-09-2009, 12:36 PM
So many of you guys are totally unrealistic about the Starks situation. It doesn't matter if you think what he signed for last year was too much because the reality was that signing may have saved our season and won the Super Bowl. Starks gave up the fewest number of sacks on the OL playing the most demanding position on the OL. Is there a problem with that? If so, do you ever watch games because the problems on the OL were Kemo, Stapleton and Colon not Starks.

Starks is as much as a must sign as any player on the team. There is no Plan B without him. All indications are that he is a "good team guy." The Steelers value that. You can dream all you want about signing FA Left Tackles but it won't happen. It's Max or nothing and nothing gets Ben killed next year.

:Agree I'm not sure why the hate for Starks. My guess is because we're discrediting the offensive line and he's part of it, so, he must take some blame as well. I'm sure Ben would like to see him back, even though that's his blind side, Ben does well escaping from outside pass rushers. It's the immediate pressure up the middle from a blown assignment that doesn't allow Ben to get out of the pocket.

That being said, Kemo, Hartwig and Stapleton need to be reevaluated this off season. The Steelers could probably live with Colon again as well. The interior guys are the ones that seemed to not get push on the goal line and missed assignments.

Pappy

You are right IMO Pappy. Kemo and Stapleton atre big problems. I don't think Hartwig is a problem if he had decent Guards on either side of him.

papillon
02-09-2009, 01:14 PM
So many of you guys are totally unrealistic about the Starks situation. It doesn't matter if you think what he signed for last year was too much because the reality was that signing may have saved our season and won the Super Bowl. Starks gave up the fewest number of sacks on the OL playing the most demanding position on the OL. Is there a problem with that? If so, do you ever watch games because the problems on the OL were Kemo, Stapleton and Colon not Starks.

Starks is as much as a must sign as any player on the team. There is no Plan B without him. All indications are that he is a "good team guy." The Steelers value that. You can dream all you want about signing FA Left Tackles but it won't happen. It's Max or nothing and nothing gets Ben killed next year.

:Agree I'm not sure why the hate for Starks. My guess is because we're discrediting the offensive line and he's part of it, so, he must take some blame as well. I'm sure Ben would like to see him back, even though that's his blind side, Ben does well escaping from outside pass rushers. It's the immediate pressure up the middle from a blown assignment that doesn't allow Ben to get out of the pocket.

That being said, Kemo, Hartwig and Stapleton need to be reevaluated this off season. The Steelers could probably live with Colon again as well. The interior guys are the ones that seemed to not get push on the goal line and missed assignments.

Pappy

You are right IMO Pappy. Kemo and Stapleton atre big problems. I don't think Hartwig is a problem if he had decent Guards on either side of him.

Well, Hartwig was rated as the 32nd starting center by some publication. That just gives you an idea of how bad Sean Mahan really was. And, moving from Mahan to Hartwig was a vast improvement. Ouch!

Pappy

Lonbull
02-09-2009, 01:47 PM
I'm not sure why the hate for Starks.

I think one of the biggest issues with Starks was not only was he paid a vast sum to be a back-up - he was (for a short time) the back-up to Essex as well, who started for Marvel before Starks stepped in.

I think the fear with Max Starks is that the Steelers are going to pay him a premium and he's going to have the heart of a back-up.

Why has Colon been starting in place of Starks - especially considering how poorly Colon has played?



That being said, Kemo, Hartwig and Stapleton need to be reevaluated this off season. The Steelers could probably live with Colon again as well. The interior guys are the ones that seemed to not get push on the goal line and missed assignments.

I think the Center position is the biggest one we need to look at - Hartwig was better, but he was still someone else's castoff when we got him.

Kemoeatu - This was his first year as a starter, and I'm optomistic that he'll improve in the off-season - the entire line didn't have much consistency but Kemo had to play next to three different LT's and I think the guy still has promise.

Stapleton - Is a back-up player, and considering that I think he was great! The real question is - is Kendall Simmons any better than Stapleton at this point?

L.B.