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fordfixer
02-11-2009, 12:57 AM
Steelers Offseason Will Be Focused on Planning Ahead

http://nfl.fanhouse.com/2009/02/10/stee ... ing-ahead/ (http://nfl.fanhouse.com/2009/02/10/steelers-offseason-is-all-about-planning-ahead/)

Posted Feb 10th 2009 8:27 AM by JJ Cooper (author feed)
Filed Under: Steelers, AFC North, NFL Free Agency
The Steelers have $19 million in cap room with only a talented cornerback and a slew of mediocre or injury-prone linemen heading to free agency. So everything's great, right?

Well, take a look at this list of Steelers who are getting ready to head into the final year of their current contracts (thanks to davaughnci for pulling a list together over at Football's Future Forum): RB Willie Parker, LB James Harrison, WR Hines Ward, TE Heath Miller, C Justin Hartwig, S Ryan Clark, CB Deshea Townsend, DE Brett Keisel, NG Casey Hampton, K Jeff Reed.


If you're counting, the Steelers have the NFL's defensive player of the year (Harrison), a running back who ran for 1,400-plus yards just a year ago (Parker), the team's all-time leading receiver (Ward), two-thirds of an outstanding defensive line (Hampton and Keisel), one of only two starting offensive linemen who isn't headed to free agency this offseason (Hartwig) and the solid free safety who gives Troy Polamalu a chance to roam all over (Clark).

That's not counting Miller, who won't be an unrestricted free agent unless the owners and union work out a new collective bargaining agreement.

So while many Steelers fans may be dreaming of Pittsburgh becoming players in the free agent market for a change to acquire a solid offensive tackle or maybe a guard, the reality is that a good bit of the Steelers' cap room will likely be taken up to re-up Harrison, Keisel, Clark, Reed and others.

That doesn't mean the Steelers won't have some money to try to re-sign Bryant McFadden and maybe Max Starks, but don't expect the Steelers to go on a spending spree this offseason, they just don't have the money to do that and keep the nucleus of this team together over the long-term.

Oviedo
02-11-2009, 09:20 AM
The Steelers are never afradi to make the hard decision. That is why I think that they let BMc walk because they know that the priority is stabilizing the OL to protect the investment they have in Big Ben.

Of the players they have I think it will play out as follows:

FWP--will be allowed to play out his contract and then leave. Lots of depth at RB and it is the easiest position to replace.

James Harrison--will get a big payday for about 3-4 years.

Hines Ward--will be asked to do a Bettis like deal so that he can retire with the Steelers. If he balks he will be allowed to leave because as great a player as he is the injury bug is biting him more and more.

Heath Miller--IMO a must sign and they will work hard to keep him but they won't break the bank because TE is not that difficult to replace particularly given how underutilized they are with the Steelers.

Justin Hartwig--depends on this draft. If they go after a Center in this draft then the handwriting is on the wall. Stapleton is in the wings and has a full year of playing experience. Won't be retained for starter money. maybe a valuable back up.

Ryan Clark--most under rated player on the team but they won't break the bank for him either. I think that younwill see Ryan Mundy make the 53 next season as the hier apparent to Clark.

Deshea Townsend--another player who will asked to do a Bettis like hometown discount or will leave. he is really just a nickle DB now.

Brett Kiesel--this is the tough one. He isn't great but for all his shortcoming that everyone feels he has as a 3-4 DE, every year he leads the team in QB pressures and blocked pases. Again I think he is only retained for a cap friendly contract or he leaves.

Casey Hampton--he had his big payday. He will be allowed to leave like Faneca and Porter.

Jeff Reed--IMO one of the top 3-5 kickers in the NFL but he only stays if he gets a cap friendly contract. Remember he was a try out addition and they won't hesitate to go that route again.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
02-12-2009, 10:50 PM
OMG, this is so anxiety provoking, anyone have a valium? I .... wanna be sedated!

Oviedo
02-13-2009, 09:45 AM
OMG, this is so anxiety provoking, anyone have a valium? I .... wanna be sedated!

Deep breaths, deep breaths

fordfixer
02-13-2009, 09:09 PM
OMG, this is so anxiety provoking, anyone have a valium? I .... wanna be sedated!

Deep breaths, deep breaths
I thought that was for child birth :lol:

Ozey74
02-13-2009, 11:04 PM
It disturbing to think of our DL without Hampton &/or Keisel. I know everyone says go OL in the 1st round, but would it be that horrible if we went DL in round #1?? At pick 32, value plays a big factor.


:tt2

Steel Life
02-15-2009, 01:16 PM
It disturbing to think of our DL without Hampton &/or Keisel. I know everyone says go OL in the 1st round, but would it be that horrible if we went DL in round #1?? At pick 32, value plays a big factor.
I agree that at least one, if not two picks should be spent on a D-lineman, but there's opportunity with FA as well. Guys like Canty & Olshansky may not end up here because we don't have starter's spots open, but key back-ups spots are where guys like Cody or Mike Wright could help.

With all three starters & the two primary back-ups (Hoke & Travis) getting up there in age, it'll be important to find back-ups who can contribute as wave players & push for starters minutes.

LouSteel
02-16-2009, 03:37 PM
So, here's my take. Feel free to tell me how crazy I am ;)

Finish the contract, then adios:
FWP - RBs are dime a dozen, and while I like the guy, we've got great talent waiting in the wings.
Townsend - William Gay showed Deshea the door.
Hampton - Getting old, and I don't think he can carry the load much longer. Hoke steps up, we draft a prospect to groom late in the draft.
Reed - He's a kicker. We'll find someone else just like we found him.

(note: if anyone signs a club-friendly extension, that's more than OK by me!)

Resign cheap or let walk:
Ward - Damn, it'd kill me to see Hines in any other uniform. But we've got more pressing issues elsewhere and I think that we have a great group of young receivers.

Clark - Tough tough tough... he's solid, but I see the team looking to the draft/FA for an equally solid replacement. He'll either take a deal or walk like Hope did.

Hartwig - We're drafting the center of the future :) I wouldn't mind him as a cheap vet backup, though... especially because he played tackle at Kansas, possibly making him that flexible player the coaches love. He'll start this year, and leave or be a cheap backup for the rest.

Sign:
Keisel - He's consistently productive but not a real star. If we let Casey walk I'd feel more comfortable with a consistent player there.

Miller - Great young player. He's a priority. I'm hoping we can sign him cheap because he doesn't have massive stats.

Priority:

Harrison. Dude's a monster entering his 3rd year as a starter. Plenty of tread left on the tires. And he's been giving us the best performance per dollar of anyone on the team. Give him what he deserves.

Oviedo
02-16-2009, 03:54 PM
So, here's my take. Feel free to tell me how crazy I am ;)

Finish the contract, then adios:
FWP - RBs are dime a dozen, and while I like the guy, we've got great talent waiting in the wings.
Townsend - William Gay showed Deshea the door.
Hampton - Getting old, and I don't think he can carry the load much longer. Hoke steps up, we draft a prospect to groom late in the draft.
Reed - He's a kicker. We'll find someone else just like we found him.

(note: if anyone signs a club-friendly extension, that's more than OK by me!)

Resign cheap or let walk:
Ward - Damn, it'd kill me to see Hines in any other uniform. But we've got more pressing issues elsewhere and I think that we have a great group of young receivers.

Clark - Tough tough tough... he's solid, but I see the team looking to the draft/FA for an equally solid replacement. He'll either take a deal or walk like Hope did.

Hartwig - We're drafting the center of the future :) I wouldn't mind him as a cheap vet backup, though... especially because he played tackle at Kansas, possibly making him that flexible player the coaches love. He'll start this year, and leave or be a cheap backup for the rest.

Sign:
Keisel - He's consistently productive but not a real star. If we let Casey walk I'd feel more comfortable with a consistent player there.

Miller - Great young player. He's a priority. I'm hoping we can sign him cheap because he doesn't have massive stats.

Priority:

Harrison. Dude's a monster entering his 3rd year as a starter. Plenty of tread left on the tires. And he's been giving us the best performance per dollar of anyone on the team. Give him what he deserves.

Add Woodely to your priority list. Even though he is not on an expiring contract next year I think it is imperative that we resign him before we get into the era of an unknown new CBA or uncapped marketplace. I expect this kid will have a monster season next year and maybe price himself into the stratosphere.

LouSteel
02-16-2009, 04:03 PM
Add Woodely to your priority list. Even though he is not on an expiring contract next year I think it is imperative that we resign him before we get into the era of an unknown new CBA or uncapped marketplace. I expect this kid will have a monster season next year and maybe price himself into the stratosphere.

Hadn't even thought about him, but you are absolutely correct.

Teams are going to key in on Harrison the entire game next season, and I think we're going to see lots of single coverage on Woodley & Timmons (who will be starting next season.)

Next season's D is going to be frightening :twisted:

papillon
02-16-2009, 04:33 PM
So, here's my take. Feel free to tell me how crazy I am ;)

Finish the contract, then adios:
FWP - RBs are dime a dozen, and while I like the guy, we've got great talent waiting in the wings.

This could work out for us, but, unless, Parker wants huge dollars there's no reason to let him walk. He can be the complement (rather than the feature back) to save Mendenhall carries and Moore continues as the 3rd down back.

Townsend - William Gay showed Deshea the door.

Definitely not liking this idea. DeShea isn't getting a big contract outside the Steeler family. Sign him to a friendly deal, I like having his experience in the defensive backfield. If he wants too much then you have to let him walk.

Hampton - Getting old, and I don't think he can carry the load much longer. Hoke steps up, we draft a prospect to groom late in the draft.

Hoke is as old or older than Hampton. If Hampton can be extended to a cap friendly deal while a new guy is groomed I say do it. Don't listen to what you hear about his play, rewatch the Steeler season and see for yourself. Individual stats are down a bit, but his presence was felt in the middle all year by opposing offenses.

Reed - He's a kicker. We'll find someone else just like we found him.

Why give away automatic points and hope to find another like him. Mike Tomlin said it himself, "you can't ice a psychopath."

(note: if anyone signs a club-friendly extension, that's more than OK by me!)

Resign cheap or let walk:
Ward - Damn, it'd kill me to see Hines in any other uniform. But we've got more pressing issues elsewhere and I think that we have a great group of young receivers.

You can't let Ward walk, he has to retire a Steeler for the continuity of player respect for the organization to continue. If players see Ward being shown the door it won't bode well for future negotiations with players.

Clark - Tough tough tough... he's solid, but I see the team looking to the draft/FA for an equally solid replacement. He'll either take a deal or walk like Hope did.

Clark won't resign cheap, but, he won't break the bank. He should be offered fair compensation for his play and overall attitude as a Pittsburgh Steeler. This will get done, no brained for both partied IMHO.

Hartwig - We're drafting the center of the future :) I wouldn't mind him as a cheap vet backup, though... especially because he played tackle at Kansas, possibly making him that flexible player the coaches love. He'll start this year, and leave or be a cheap backup for the rest.

I agree, draft the future and keep Hartwig as a backup. By the time the draftee is ready to play Hartwig won'tbe commanding dollars in the NFL.

Sign:
Keisel - He's consistently productive but not a real star. If we let Casey walk I'd feel more comfortable with a consistent player there.

Miller - Great young player. He's a priority. I'm hoping we can sign him cheap because he doesn't have massive stats.

These plus Woodley, Mcfadden and Starks or Smith (preferably Starks) should be signed or extended.

Priority:

Harrison. Dude's a monster entering his 3rd year as a starter. Plenty of tread left on the tires. And he's been giving us the best performance per dollar of anyone on the team. Give him what he deserves.

Truer words were never spoken. Pay the man.



Pappy