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ANPSTEEL
04-21-2009, 09:06 AM
Not to get ahead of things.... but the 2010 off season / season is going to be pretty crazy for the Steelers

Below is an excerpt from an article posted on the Trib site…

If the Steelers release of Gary Russell in order to sign Batch- is indicative of their Cap situation and/or the teams degree of being strapped for cash- what do we think happens with the remaining players going into their final years??



http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 21517.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_621517.html)

Steelers to face some tough decisions
By Scott Brown, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, April 21, 2009


With essentially no room left under the salary cap, the Steelers may have to make some tough decisions regarding which veterans they sign to multiyear contracts. Here's a look at the key players that are heading into the final year of their contracts:

Offense
Player — Pos.
Willie Colon — OT
Justin Hartwig — C
Heath Miller — TE
Max Starks — OT
Hines Ward — WR
Defense
Player — Pos.
Ryan Clark — FS
Larry Foote — ILB
Casey Hampton — NT
Brett Keisel — DE
Specialists
Player — Pos.
Jeff Reed — K


Clearly the outcome of this weekends draft will have an impact on the way this plays out, but I think a couple items are more obvious.

-Larry Foote, due to his $5mm salary, will be one of the first players looked at as far as trade options or being released as a cap casualty - we know he isn't likely to start, and $5mil is too much to pay a backup- when so many other players need to be extended.

Casey Hampton- I think the team drafts Casey's replacement this year- and Hoke is an admirable fill in. This is likely Casey's last season in black and gold.

Brett Keisel- this could go either way- but I think he is likely extended to a cap friendly deal, as depth and special teams

Both Starks and Colon need to be re worked to long(er) term deals. This will be more difficult with Starks- because he has more value as a free agent.
if they are not extended, then the team has an additional $16mm in cap room available the following players-

Heath Miller- needs to be resigned. Miller would be one of the top TEs in the league if he were to play on a team that actually utilized his receiving skills.

Hines Ward- the team has no one to replace him at this point- the team will need to extend him to a 3 year cap friendly deal or find a younger / faster veteran to trade for or pick up as a FA.

Ryan Clark- unless Ryan Mundy has a 'lights out' camp- Clark will need to be resigned- or do you move DeShae to FS for a season???

Jeff Reed- this is a tough one- can the team find another kicker, nearly as reliable- in what may be the worst kicking environment in the NFL? I doubt it- he is resigned.

Justin Hartwig- Starts this season as the Rookie C is groomed. Then extended to a cap friendly deal for 4 years. maybe as RG and backup C.



Any thoughts or insight???

calmkiller
04-21-2009, 09:55 AM
Offense
Player — Pos.
Willie Colon — OT, Is allowed to walk this year. Tony Hills takes over next season.
Justin Hartwig — C, Walks, New Center coming in this season.
Heath Miller — TE, Resign at all costs.
Max Starks — OT, Hopefully extend.
Hines Ward — WR, Plays our his contract and signs a one year deal ALA the Bus.

Defense
Player — Pos.
Ryan Clark — FS, Ryan Mundy is his soon to be replacement.
Larry Foote — ILB, Gone.
Casey Hampton — NT, Gone. Replacement in the draft.
Brett Keisel — DE, Extend
Specialists
Player — Pos.
Jeff Reed — K, Extend

papillon
04-21-2009, 10:11 AM
Here are my thoughts

Offense
Player — Pos.

Willie Colon — OT Pending his salary demands and Tony Hills development try to sign Colon or maybe the heir apparent at left tackle that's drafted this year :tt2 can hold done RT for a year or even longer.
Justin Hartwig — C Done after this year do not extend or offer
Heath Miller — TE Must extend
Max Starks — OT Extend if possible to ease cap hit or draft replacement and use Essex as stop gap for one year while the rook develops.
Hines Ward — WR Unfortunately, to end his career as a Steeler he will have to accept a Bettis deal or they'll have to release him. He only has 2 years left in the tank.

Defense
Player — Pos.
Ryan Clark — FS I'd love to see him resigned, but I dont' think it will happen. Hopefully, Mundy or a second day draft pick pans out this year.
Larry Foote — ILB Almost certainly will be released, there's too much young blood in the cupboard to keep him around as a high priced backup.
Casey Hampton — NT Casey is aging and he won't be receiving another payday from the Steelers. Draft a replacement and get him some snaps this year and release Casey. That's tough to do, but, almost is a necessity.
Brett Keisel — DE I can't imagine he'll command any big payday, so, keep at a very, very friendly cap deal or release him.

Specialists
Player — Pos.
Jeff Reed — K You can't "ice" crazy, so, sign him for good kicker money.

Pappy

phillyesq
04-21-2009, 10:19 AM
Here is my :2c

Offense
Player — Pos.

Willie Colon — OT - I believe that under the CBA, he will be an RFA again next year. Tender him again.

Justin Hartwig — C - if a replacement is drafted this year, let him sign a low money deal as a backup or walk.

Heath Miller — TE - extend to long term deal.

Max Starks — OT - tough situation. He has very little incentive to sign a new deal, but if possible, extend him.

Hines Ward — WR - sign to an extension -- maybe tack on two seasons after this one, and lower his cap hit this year.

Defense
Player — Pos.
Ryan Clark — FS - sign to an extension. I really doubt that Mundy is the answer, and Clark is a great compliment to Troy. He doesn't get beat deep, and me lays the occasional big hit.

Larry Foote — ILB - I'd like to keep him this year. He provides great depth, and allows everybody to stay fresh. IMO, still a bit better against the run than Timmons, and keeping Foote in the game on running downs keeps Timmons fresher on passing downs. After this season, he probably walks.

Casey Hampton — NT - if he would sign a reasonable deal, extend. Not what he once was, but still effective against the run, and NTs, especially two down players, can still play effectively as they get a bit older.

Brett Keisel — DE - either sign him to a small extension or let him walk (provided that a suitable replacement is found). No strong feelings either way.

Specialists
Player — Pos.
Jeff Reed — K - extend. He can kick at Heinz, which is difficult.

Oviedo
04-21-2009, 10:21 AM
Here are my thoughts

Offense
Player — Pos.

Willie Colon — OT Pending his salary demands and Tony Hills development try to sign Colon or maybe the heir apparent at left tackle that's drafted this year :tt2 can hold done RT for a year or even longer.
Justin Hartwig — C Done after this year do not extend or offer
Heath Miller — TE Must extend
Max Starks — OT Extend if possible to ease cap hit or draft replacement and use Essex as stop gap for one year while the rook develops.
Hines Ward — WR Unfortunately, to end his career as a Steeler he will have to accept a Bettis deal or they'll have to release him. He only has 2 years left in the tank.

Defense
Player — Pos.
Ryan Clark — FS I'd love to see him resigned, but I dont' think it will happen. Hopefully, Mundy or a second day draft pick pans out this year.
Larry Foote — ILB Almost certainly will be released, there's too much young blood in the cupboard to keep him around as a high priced backup.
Casey Hampton — NT Casey is aging and he won't be receiving another payday from the Steelers. Draft a replacement and get him some snaps this year and release Casey. That's tough to do, but, almost is a necessity.
Brett Keisel — DE I can't imagine he'll command any big payday, so, keep at a very, very friendly cap deal or release him.

Specialists
Player — Pos.
Jeff Reed — K You can't "ice" crazy, so, sign him for good kicker money.

Pappy

Pappy--I tend to agree with all your assessments except for Kiesel. I think Kiesel has more value than many realize and I think that if he isn't a starter he could be a valuable back up for several years. Given the number of teams moving to the 3-4 he could demand more than you think.

I could very easily see Hampton gone this year as a cal casualty.

calmkiller
04-21-2009, 10:31 AM
Here is my :2c

Offense
Player — Pos.

Willie Colon — OT - I believe that under the CBA, he will be an RFA again next year. Tender him again.


You are right about that I believe. So that means he will be a RFA again and Max could be tagged yet again. So technically we have these two Tackles for two more seasons.

papillon
04-21-2009, 10:35 AM
Here is my :2c

Offense
Player — Pos.

Willie Colon — OT - I believe that under the CBA, he will be an RFA again next year. Tender him again.


You are right about that I believe. So that means he will be a RFA again and Max could be tagged yet again. So technically we have these two Tackles for two more seasons.

At great cost, are they worth what the Steelers would have to pay them?

Pappy

calmkiller
04-21-2009, 10:39 AM
Here is my :2c

Offense
Player — Pos.

Willie Colon — OT - I believe that under the CBA, he will be an RFA again next year. Tender him again.


You are right about that I believe. So that means he will be a RFA again and Max could be tagged yet again. So technically we have these two Tackles for two more seasons.

At great cost, are they worth what the Steelers would have to pay them?

Pappy

Willie is making 2.189 million this year with his tender. Its a hell of a lot better than 8 million a year I would say.

phillyesq
04-21-2009, 11:00 AM
Here is my :2c

Offense
Player — Pos.

Willie Colon — OT - I believe that under the CBA, he will be an RFA again next year. Tender him again.


You are right about that I believe. So that means he will be a RFA again and Max could be tagged yet again. So technically we have these two Tackles for two more seasons.

At great cost, are they worth what the Steelers would have to pay them?

Pappy

Willie is making 2.189 million this year with his tender. Its a hell of a lot better than 8 million a year I would say.

I would think that Colon could be tendered for a similar amount next year, which is reasonable for a starting OT. The tender for Starks would increase by at least 20%, which would be very ugly.

SteelBucks
04-21-2009, 11:34 AM
Offense
Player — Pos.
Willie Colon — OT, Is allowed to walk this year. Tony Hills takes over next season.
Justin Hartwig — C, Walks, New Center coming in this season.
Heath Miller — TE, Resign at all costs.
Max Starks — OT, Hopefully extend.
Hines Ward — WR, Plays our his contract and signs a one year deal ALA the Bus.



I agree that they need to resign Miller, however he will only be a free agent next year if the league reaches a new CBA. If no CBA is in place, all players will have to be in the league at least six years to be a RFA (this is Miller's fifth). So this may buy the Steelers some time with him.

calmkiller
04-21-2009, 12:23 PM
Offense
Player — Pos.
Willie Colon — OT, Is allowed to walk this year. Tony Hills takes over next season.
Justin Hartwig — C, Walks, New Center coming in this season.
Heath Miller — TE, Resign at all costs.
Max Starks — OT, Hopefully extend.
Hines Ward — WR, Plays our his contract and signs a one year deal ALA the Bus.



I agree that they need to resign Miller, however he will only be a free agent next year if the league reaches a new CBA. If no CBA is in place, all players will have to be in the league at least six years to be a RFA (this is Miller's fifth). So this may buy the Steelers some time with him.

I thought he would meet the requirement. If so then great. RFA Tenders for all!!!

SteelBucks
04-21-2009, 01:27 PM
Offense
Player — Pos.
Willie Colon — OT, Is allowed to walk this year. Tony Hills takes over next season.
Justin Hartwig — C, Walks, New Center coming in this season.
Heath Miller — TE, Resign at all costs.
Max Starks — OT, Hopefully extend.
Hines Ward — WR, Plays our his contract and signs a one year deal ALA the Bus.



I agree that they need to resign Miller, however he will only be a free agent next year if the league reaches a new CBA. If no CBA is in place, all players will have to be in the league at least six years to be a RFA (this is Miller's fifth). So this may buy the Steelers some time with him.

I thought he would meet the requirement. If so then great. RFA Tenders for all!!!

Oops, my bad. Six years will give a player UFA. Either way, Miller will not be a FA without a new CBA.

papillon
04-21-2009, 01:40 PM
Here is my :2c

Offense
Player — Pos.

Willie Colon — OT - I believe that under the CBA, he will be an RFA again next year. Tender him again.


You are right about that I believe. So that means he will be a RFA again and Max could be tagged yet again. So technically we have these two Tackles for two more seasons.

At great cost, are they worth what the Steelers would have to pay them?

Pappy

Willie is making 2.189 million this year with his tender. Its a hell of a lot better than 8 million a year I would say.

I agree that paying Colon approximately that much again would be fine. I don't know all the ins and outs of RFA, UFA, tenders, rookies against the cap, etc. Fortunately, I don't have to, only Omar Khan has to know that inane bullsh1t.

Really, what the Steelers need to do is figure out if Starks is the future or not and they need to do that this year. They can only tag him one more time and if he isn't the future then there's no reason to pay this year's salary plus 20% next year.

Pappy

frankthetank1
04-22-2009, 07:45 AM
Offense
Player — Pos.
Willie Colon — OT, Is allowed to walk this year. Tony Hills takes over next season.
Justin Hartwig — C, Walks, New Center coming in this season.
Heath Miller — TE, Resign at all costs.
Max Starks — OT, Hopefully extend.
Hines Ward — WR, Plays our his contract and signs a one year deal ALA the Bus.

Defense
Player — Pos.
Ryan Clark — FS, Ryan Mundy is his soon to be replacement.
Larry Foote — ILB, Gone.
Casey Hampton — NT, Gone. Replacement in the draft.
Brett Keisel — DE, Extend
Specialists
Player — Pos.
Jeff Reed — K, Extend

i agree with everything except clark. i would bet anything that mundy wont be the guy to take over. clark really needs to be extended. he is very solid and a FS like clark is hard to find. He makes troy even better

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
04-22-2009, 09:33 AM
Sorry ANP, but I have to disagree with a lot of what you have said.



-Larry Foote, due to his $5mm salary, will be one of the first players looked at as far as trade options or being released as a cap casualty - we know he isn't likely to start, and $5mil is too much to pay a backup- when so many other players need to be extended.

Foote's salary is nowhere near $5M. His cap hit is under $4M. I believe his salary is around $2.9M. That is very solid for a guy who will be your #1 backup at probably all four LB positions. He would replace either Timmons or Farrior, and Timmons would probably move over to OLB and Foote with step in at ILB if one of them was unable to play. He will contribute either way.


Casey Hampton- I think the team drafts Casey's replacement this year- and Hoke is an admirable fill in. This is likely Casey's last season in black and gold.

A lot of people are talking about this but I think that the idea is ridiculous. Hampton is a starter. Hoke is a backup - and not one who is being groomed for the starting spot. He is a backup for a reason - because Casey is the much better player. The D declines if this move is made. If we need to save the money after drafting the heir apparent then release Hoke.


Brett Keisel- this could go either way- but I think he is likely extended to a cap friendly deal, as depth and special teams

Keisel, like Foote, has always been underrated on this board. He is a quality starter on this D. For proof of how the team feels, remember how they wanted to use him as a hybrid Suggs type player a couple of years ago. That didn't pan out, but he was chosen because they like what he can do. Don't think that he will be in a Batch type situation where nobody wants him and he will be forced to settle for a discount here. If we don't pay him then there will be several 3-4 teams willing to. If he accepts a cap friendly deal it will only be because he chooses to do so.


Both Starks and Colon need to be re worked to long(er) term deals. This will be more difficult with Starks- because he has more value as a free agent.
if they are not extended, then the team has an additional $16mm in cap room available the following players-

Not sure how you arrive at the $16M number for Starks and Colon. Starks is currently at around $8.4M and that will come down if he is extended, probably to the $6M neighborhood. Colon is not worth anywhere near that amount.


Heath Miller- needs to be resigned. Miller would be one of the top TEs in the league if he were to play on a team that actually utilized his receiving skills.

Agreed. Hey, we agreed on something! :tt2


Hines Ward- the team has no one to replace him at this point- the team will need to extend him to a 3 year cap friendly deal or find a younger / faster veteran to trade for or pick up as a FA.

Ward is a tricky situation. I remember writing something about this after last season. As great as he is, and as much as he has served this team well, Hines Ward has reached the point where his cap number exceeds his output. It happens a lot because in this league as players age, their salaries are still increasing. For this to work then Hines will have to take a Bettis-like approach. He will have to accept that if he wants to play beyond '09 then he will have to make sacrifices to his '09 salary. '09 cap hit is $7.8M - if he is willing to extend to 3 years and say around $13.5M with numbers around $4M, $4.5M, $5M then I think it is doable. But that would take a lot of sacrifice on his part.


Ryan Clark- unless Ryan Mundy has a 'lights out' camp- Clark will need to be resigned- or do you move DeShae to FS for a season???

Not a fan of moving DT to safety, I'd much rather have Clark there. Considering that Clark's current cap hit is only $40K higher this year than Deshea's, how much can you save in the future with this experiment? I'd rather release Deshea - a nickelback than Clark - a starter.


Jeff Reed- this is a tough one- can the team find another kicker, nearly as reliable- in what may be the worst kicking environment in the NFL? I doubt it- he is resigned.

Yup, easy move here. How expensive can a kicker be, and he is already the best Heinz Field kicker we can find.


Justin Hartwig- Starts this season as the Rookie C is groomed. Then extended to a cap friendly deal for 4 years. maybe as RG and backup C.

You had me until you spent the extra money. Keep him this year as we groom his replacement. Find another to replace Stapleton, and let Darnell be your all purpose interior line backup.




Any thoughts or insight???

There are my thoughts. Curse away!! :lol: