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Chadman
04-23-2009, 02:49 AM
Just looking at the 'needs' of the Steelers entering the draft based on the roster stength for the next couple of seasons, cap numbers & possible cut targets...

RED= RED FLAGS
GREEN= POSSIBLE CAP CASUALTY

QB-
Ben Roethlisberger- Contract Expires- 2016- 2009 Cap Number= $13,220,000.00
Charlie Batch- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $895,000.00
Dennis Dixon- Contract Expires- 2011- 2009 Cap Number= $428,000.00

The Steelers are unlikely to look at drafting a QB as they are set for 2009. Perhaps an UDFA might be brought in for camp purposes. Dixon looks slated to step in as the #2 in the near future.

RB-
Willie Parker- Contract Expires- 2010 - 2009 Cap Number= $4,538,000.00
Rashard Mendenhall- Contract Expires- 2013- 2009 Cap Number= $1,488,000.00
Mewelde Moore- Contract Expires- 2011- 2009 Cap Number= $1,925,000.00
Stefan Logan- Contract Expires- 2011- 2009 Cap Number= $310,000.00
Justin Vincent- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $310,000.00

Parker is entering his last year, is going on 30, had a down season, and carries one of the higher salaries. With Mendenhall & Moore on the books, and with the Steelers looking at Frank Summers, Parker might be on shaky ground. Steelers likely will look at RB in the draft- but not high.

FB-
Carey Davis- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $460,000.00
Sean McHugh- Contract Expires- 2012- 2009 Cap Number= $750,000.00
Ryan Powdrell- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $310,000.00

Steelers might look at Frank Summers as a FB/RB. This is unlikely to effect the status of McHugh or Davis though.

WR-
Hines Ward- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $7,800,000.00
Santonio Holmes- Contract Expires- 2011- 2009 Cap Number= $1,590,000.00
Limas Sweed- Contract Expires- 2012- 2009 Cap Number= $768,000.00
Martin Nance- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $310,000.00
Dallas Baker- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $385,000.00
Brandon Williams- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $460,000.00

Ward might not be a Price/Production pay-off player anymore. Steelers might look to bring that number down. Not much on the roster after Sweed, so expect the Steelers to look at WR around the midway point (or higher) of the draft.

TE-
Heath Miller- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $2,413,000.00
Matt Speath- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $648,000.00
Dezmond Sherrod- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $310,000.00

Both the top TE's are entering the last year of their contracts. If the Steelers draft a TE, this could be an indication on how think they might sit with re-signing both Miller & Speath. Look for a possible mid to late TE selection.

OT-
Max Starks- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $8,451,000.00
Willie Colon- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $2,198,000.00
Trai Essex- Contract Expires- 2011- 2009 Cap Number= $870,000.00
Tony Hills- Contract Expires- 2011- 2009 Cap Number= $487,000.00
Jason Capizzi- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $385,000.00
Jeremy Parquet- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $460,000.00

Like TE, if the Steelers draft an OT, it'll mean they are not confident of re-signing Starks & Colon. The top 2 back-ups are under contract beyond this season, so drafting an OT means looking for a future starter. Could be a high to mid round priority.

OG-
Chris Kemoeatu- Contract Expires- 2014- 2009 Cap Number= $2,565,000.00
Darnell Stapleton- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $463,000.00
Doug Legursky- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $310,000.00

Kemo's re-signing means only 1 opening, with Stapleton likely to be 'challenged'. Of course, Stapleton could move back to CENTER. There is definately room for improvement here. Early priority selection is likely. Perhaps a late pick too for depth.

OC-
Justin Hartwig- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $2,238,000.00

Only 1 Center on the books (Legursky & Stapleton are possible Centers though). With Hartwig entering his last year on the contract, look for Center to get a long look early in the draft. If not- this would indicate Stapleton moving back to Center.

DT-
Casey Hampton- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $6,652,000.00
Chris Hoke- Contract Expires- 2011- 2009 Cap Number= $1,675,000.00
Scott Paxson- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $385,000.00

Age is becoming a problem. An early to mid round pick is likely for NT. Hampton might have another couple of years in him yet- but Hoke is 33 & somewhat overpriced.

DE-
Aaron Smith- Contract Expires- 2012- 2009 Cap Number= $3,950,000.00
Brett Keisel- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $4,998,000.00
Travis Kirschke- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $1,300,000.00
Nick Eason- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $678,000.00
Jordan Reffett- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $310,000.00

Keisel is in the last year of his contract and is simply overpaid. Kirschke is in the same boat. Definately a high-end selection need at DE. Most likely duplicate selections in fact.

ILB-
James Farrior- Contract Expires- 2013- 2009 Cap Number= $3,975,000.00
Lawrence Timmons- Contract Expires- 2012- 2009 Cap Number= $2,099,000.00
Larry Foote- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $3,933,000.00
Keyaron Fox- Contract Expires- 2011- 2009 Cap Number= $810,000.00

Foote could be a cap casualty. With Fox re-signed, a late round pick for depth might be used.

OLB-
James Harrison- Contract Expires- 2015- 2009 Cap Number= $6,200,000.00
LaMarr Woodley- Contract Expires- 2011- 2009 Cap Number= $810,000.00
Bruce Davis- Contract Expires- 2011- 2009 Cap Number= $554,000.00
Arnold Harrison- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $460,000.00
Andre Frazier- Contract Expires- 2011- 2009 Cap Number= $682,500.00
Donovan Woods- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $385,000.00
Patrick Bailey- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $385,000.00

Really doubt that the Steelers would look at OLB in this draft. Strongest position in terms of depth on the roster.

CB-
Ike Taylor- Contract Expires- 2011- 2009 Cap Number= $6,100,000.00
Deshea Townsend- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $2,373,000.00
William Gay- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $495,000.00
Fernando Bryant- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $745,000.00
Anthony Madison- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $1,010,430.00
Roy Lewis- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $310,000.00

The Steelers will likely look for a potential nickle CB n this draft with both Townsend & Bryant entering the latter parts of their careers. Mid round selection, to late.

S-
Troy Polamalu- Contract Expires- 2012- 2009 Cap Number= $6,495,000.00
Ryan Clark- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $2,413,000.00
Tyrone Carter- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $838,000.00
Ryan Mundy- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $310,000.00

Only 1 Safety signed beyond this season, look for the Steelers to address Safety early to mid round in this draft.

ST-
Jeff Reed- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $1,958,000.00
Daniel Sepulveda- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $575,000.00
Greg Warren- Contract Expires- 2011- 2009 Cap Number= $782,000.00
Jared Retkofsky- Contract Expires- 2010- 2009 Cap Number= $385,000.00

VERY unlikely the Steelers would look at ST players in this draft.


RECAP- NEEDS
QB- Minimal to None.
RB- Late Round Spot Player
FB- As Above
WR- Depth/Future Starter Required. Early to Mid Round Pick Likely.
OT- Starters Both Enter Last Year of Contract. COULD Be a Priority if Neither are to be Resigned. Early to Mid Round Pick.
OG- No Depth. Look for at LEAST 2 Interior OL to be Added. One Early, One Late
C- See Above

DE- Age/Contract Length Make DE a PRIORITY Selection. Early to Mid Likely.
DT- Might Not be as BIG a Need as Advertised. Hampton is Still Good. Perhaps Late Pick.
OLB- Deep, Strong Unit. No Draft Pick Needed.
ILB- Little Real Depth. Mid to Late Round Pick.
CB- No Depth Beyond This Season. Mid to Late Round Pick.
S- Only 1 Safety on Roster Beyond 2009. PRIORITY PICK- Early.

calmkiller
04-23-2009, 08:21 AM
http://www.profootballtalk.com/2009/04/ ... -april-22/ (http://www.profootballtalk.com/2009/04/22/salary-cap-space-as-of-april-22/)

Salary Cap Space As Of April 22

Pittsburgh Steelers: $440,000.

papillon
04-23-2009, 08:25 AM
Great work Chadman and as I've been saying all along there are some veterans that should be released or rework their contracts. Unfortunately, the Steelers haven't done anything about it prior to the draft.

Willie - I love him, his story, his attitude and his work ethic, but, I hand the ball over to Mendenhall and release Parker or look to trade him.

Hampton - I look to use him as trade bait, move Hoke up the depth chart and draft the future early.

Ward - He has to take the Bettis deal or release him and select a WR early. This is very unpopular as he should retire a Steeler, but, I'm a fan of the team and not any one player, Hines included.

Kiesel making more than Aaron Smith? This is abominable. Release Kiesel and get his replacement late in the draft or via camp cuts in August.

Larry Foote should be used as trade bait or released and give Timmons the job.

Ryan Clark needs to be extended and be a member of the Steelers. He and Troy make a great safety tandem.

Heath Miller should be resigned at all costs and Spaeth the experiment should be released. He can't block a lick and really hasn't done much in the passing game. He may become a good pass catching TE on a team that uses a TE a bit more than the Steelers. It would be a good career move for him.

Greg Warren and his salary can go as well. Jared Rotkovsky filled in admirably as the long snapper, there's no need to pay Warren.

The last years of back loaded big contracts are coming home to roost and difficult decisions are going to have to be made, both, by the players (if they want to remain a Steeler) and by the Steelers themselves.

Just my :2c /10

Pappy

RKSteel
04-23-2009, 08:27 AM
Great work Chadman. Will be interesting to see if the draft shakes out similiar to how you projected the Steelers needs.

Chadman
04-23-2009, 09:27 AM
Let's now look at Needs vs Visits/Interest to see how this might shake out...

PRIORITY EARLY NEEDS- Interior OL, OT (Possibly), DE & S
VISITS THAT FIT CATAGORY- C Alex Mack (Rd 1), C Max Unger (Rd 1-2), S Louis Delmas (Rd 1-2), DE Jarron Gilbert (Rd 1-2), DT Ron Brace (Rd 1-2)

EARLY NEEDS (Includes Priority Needs)- WR, OT, Interior OL, DE, S
VISITS THAT FIT CATAGORY- C Alex Mack (Rd 1), C Max Unger (Rd 1-2), S Louis Delmas (Rd 1-2), DE Jarron Gilbert (Rd 1-2), DT Ron Brace (Rd 1-2), DE Fili Moala (Rd 2), OT Phil Loadholt (Rd 2), CB/S Sherrod Martin (Rd 2-3), OG Andy Levitre (Rd 2-3), OG Herman Johnson (Rd 2-3), C Eric Wood (Rd 2), WR Louis Murphy (Rd 3), DT Dorrell Scott (Rd 3)

MID ROUND NEEDS- WR, OT, DE, CB, ILB
VISITS THAT FIT CATAGORY- WR Louis Murphy (Rd 3), DT Dorrell Scott (Rd 3), DT Sammy Lee Hill (Rd 3-4), CB Joe Bennett (Rd 3-5), WR Mike Thomas (Rd 4-5), C AQ Shipley (Rd 3-4), ILB Scott McKillop (Rd 3-4)

MID TO LATE ROUND NEEDS- RB, OG, NT, ILB, CB, OT (Possible), TE
VISITS THAT FIT CATAGORY- TE Richard Quinn (Rd 4), CB Joe Bennett (Rd 3-5), ILB Scott McKillop (Rd 3-4), DT Sammy Lee Hill (Rd 3-4), CB Donald Washington (Rd 4-6), OG Louis Vasquez (Rd 5-6), DE RaShon Harris (Rd 5-6), FB Frank Summers (Rd 5-7), CB Don Carey (Rd 6-7), LB Spence Adkins (Rd 6-7), CB Ellis Lankster (Rd 6-7), CB Tony Carter (Rd 6-7), CB Greg Toler (Rd 5-7), OG CJ Davis (Rd 6-7), OT Jason Watkins (Rd 4-6)

SidSmythe
04-23-2009, 09:29 AM
No way do you get rid of Townshend or Hoke. They provide veteran depth at very cap friendly numbers.

Chadman
04-23-2009, 09:43 AM
Now lets brake this down a little more-

Round 1-

If we assume that the PRIORITY needs are Interior OL, OT, DE & Safety- with no visits from any of the 'Top OT's', let's assume the Steelers are NOT targeting OT in Round 1. That leaves OG/OC, S & DE. Alex Mack & Max Unger both fill a need, BUT...if you look at the players that visited in the Round 2-3 catagory, you notice that several OG's/OC's start to pop up. Is that a sign that the Steelers might target OG/OC in Round 2? Let's assume so, for arguments sake. So- DE vs Safety. The Steelers invited/showed interest in DE/DT Jarron Gilbert & Ron Brace & also Free Safety Louis Delmas. Brace, Chadman would normally consider a NT, but Ed Bouchette did say that the Steelers view him as a possible DE. So, like Interoir OL, lets see if the Steelers target any other 'options' in these positions in the Round 2-3 region- DE = Fili Moala, Dorrell Scott & Sammy Lee Hill. Safety = Louis Delmas & Sherrod Martin. Hmm....Is the drop-off from Gilbert/Brace to Moala/Scott/Hill as dramatic as Delmas to Martin?
Chadman doesn't think so. With that in mind, because of the players invited to visit the Steelers HQ & because of Roster Needs- Chadman predicts that FREE SAFETY LOUIS DELMAS will be pick #32- barring any trade down or up.

Djfan
04-23-2009, 09:46 AM
I agree on Spaeth. He has no value to us beyond trade bait. Possibly agree on Foote. Bummer. I really like the guy for us.

Who is Anthony Madison? Has he done anything? He has a big number for sitting on the bench.

Willie Parker is a tough one. I have said that this might be the season he goes. He still has market value, and a high cap ding. Do we really need him? Probably not. But, for the record, I love the guy. Hope he retires a Steeler.

Does anyone think that Ward DOESN'T restructure? You can bet The Bus will get a hold of him and discuss the benefits of that move.

papillon
04-23-2009, 10:08 AM
I agree on Spaeth. He has no value to us beyond trade bait. Possibly agree on Foote. Bummer. I really like the guy for us.

Who is Anthony Madison? Has he done anything? He has a big number for sitting on the bench.

Willie Parker is a tough one. I have said that this might be the season he goes. He still has market value, and a high cap ding. Do we really need him? Probably not. But, for the record, I love the guy. Hope he retires a Steeler.

Does anyone think that Ward DOESN'T restructure? You can bet The Bus will get a hold of him and discuss the benefits of that move.

I love Ward and he should retire a Steeler, but he did hold out once to get his payday. Now it's time for him to step up to the plate and take one for the team or release him. If he's not willing to restructure, then you have to let him go, his cap dollars versus production won't match up.

Not only that, but, his contract frees up the required space (about 4.5 - 5.0 million) to sign the draft class. One painful, but necessary move, if he isn't willing to renegotiate. Of course, not all draftees will make the 53 man roster, but any signing bonuses no matter how minuscule will be counted against the cap.

Pappy

RuthlessBurgher
04-23-2009, 10:33 AM
Kiesel making more than Aaron Smith? This is abominable. Release Kiesel and get his replacement late in the draft or via camp cuts in August.

Release Keisel? Seriously? Considering how long it takes for a DE to learn LeBeau's version of the 3-4, there is no possible way you could get a suitable replacement late in the draft or via an August cut. Keisel is painfully underrated by Steeler fans. Every one of these teams that are converting to the 3-4 would love to have a Keisel.

The only reason that Keisel's cap number is more than Smith's this season is because Keisel is entering the last year of his deal, when the base salary is typically at it highest level, while Smith is still in the middle of his contract.

Keisel signed a 4 year deal worth $13.1 million ($3.29M bonus) in 2006.
Smith signed a 5 year deal worth $24.5 million ($8M bonus) in 2007.

So, obviously, Keisel's contract is not abominable compared to Smith's. Let's not overreact here, people.

RuthlessBurgher
04-23-2009, 10:37 AM
Who is Anthony Madison? Has he done anything? He has a big number for sitting on the bench.

Madison was given the same RFA tender that we gave to McHugh (who signed a multi-year deal shortly thereafter). They felt that Madison's special teams prowess and the fact that he provides some corner depth as well that he was worth the $1.01 million one year RFA tender while former 3rd round pick Anthony Smith (who could have been kept for one more year at the same number) was not. Judging by the drastic improvement in our special teams coverage units last season, I don't question some of the decisions to bring back guys like Key Fox and Madison, even if they don't have a defined role in our regular defense.

papillon
04-23-2009, 11:54 AM
Kiesel making more than Aaron Smith? This is abominable. Release Kiesel and get his replacement late in the draft or via camp cuts in August.

Release Keisel? Seriously? Considering how long it takes for a DE to learn LeBeau's version of the 3-4, there is no possible way you could get a suitable replacement late in the draft or via an August cut. Keisel is painfully underrated by Steeler fans. Every one of these teams that are converting to the 3-4 would love to have a Keisel.

The only reason that Keisel's cap number is more than Smith's this season is because Keisel is entering the last year of his deal, when the base salary is typically at it highest level, while Smith is still in the middle of his contract.

Keisel signed a 4 year deal worth $13.1 million ($3.29M bonus) in 2006.
Smith signed a 5 year deal worth $24.5 million ($8M bonus) in 2007.

So, obviously, Keisel's contract is not abominable compared to Smith's. Let's not overreact here, people.

We aren't going to be able to keep every veteran on this team; at some point the difficult decisions are going to have to be made. When do the Steelers begin to do this? We are going to be drafting more younguns and some others are developing.

Pappy

RuthlessBurgher
04-23-2009, 12:12 PM
Kiesel making more than Aaron Smith? This is abominable. Release Kiesel and get his replacement late in the draft or via camp cuts in August.

Release Keisel? Seriously? Considering how long it takes for a DE to learn LeBeau's version of the 3-4, there is no possible way you could get a suitable replacement late in the draft or via an August cut. Keisel is painfully underrated by Steeler fans. Every one of these teams that are converting to the 3-4 would love to have a Keisel.

The only reason that Keisel's cap number is more than Smith's this season is because Keisel is entering the last year of his deal, when the base salary is typically at it highest level, while Smith is still in the middle of his contract.

Keisel signed a 4 year deal worth $13.1 million ($3.29M bonus) in 2006.
Smith signed a 5 year deal worth $24.5 million ($8M bonus) in 2007.

So, obviously, Keisel's contract is not abominable compared to Smith's. Let's not overreact here, people.

We aren't going to be able to keep every veteran on this team; at some point the difficult decisions are going to have to be made. When do the Steelers begin to do this? We are going to be drafting more younguns and some others are developing.

Pappy

We may not be able to re-sign Keisel when his contract expires after this season. We should put a priority on drafting a player who projects as a 3-4 DE (I'm still holding out hope for Gilbert in round 2). But that doesn't mean you cut a starter now with no real legit depth behind him.

papillon
04-23-2009, 12:21 PM
Kiesel making more than Aaron Smith? This is abominable. Release Kiesel and get his replacement late in the draft or via camp cuts in August.

Release Keisel? Seriously? Considering how long it takes for a DE to learn LeBeau's version of the 3-4, there is no possible way you could get a suitable replacement late in the draft or via an August cut. Keisel is painfully underrated by Steeler fans. Every one of these teams that are converting to the 3-4 would love to have a Keisel.

The only reason that Keisel's cap number is more than Smith's this season is because Keisel is entering the last year of his deal, when the base salary is typically at it highest level, while Smith is still in the middle of his contract.

Keisel signed a 4 year deal worth $13.1 million ($3.29M bonus) in 2006.
Smith signed a 5 year deal worth $24.5 million ($8M bonus) in 2007.

So, obviously, Keisel's contract is not abominable compared to Smith's. Let's not overreact here, people.

We aren't going to be able to keep every veteran on this team; at some point the difficult decisions are going to have to be made. When do the Steelers begin to do this? We are going to be drafting more younguns and some others are developing.

Pappy

We may not be able to re-sign Keisel when his contract expires after this season. We should put a priority on drafting a player who projects as a 3-4 DE (I'm still holding out hope for Gilbert in round 2). But that doesn't mean you cut a starter now with no real legit depth behind him.

Ward's cap hit alone will give the Steelers ample room to sign the rookie class. What if he doesn't want to restructure? what do you do? Same with Hampton? Foote? Something has to give by the end of training camp. How long will the NFL allow the Steelers to be over the cap? They will be if everything stays exactly as it is right now and they sign 9 draft picks. As of right now the Steelers have about $440,000 to use to sign the rooks.

Pappy

RuthlessBurgher
04-23-2009, 12:40 PM
Kiesel making more than Aaron Smith? This is abominable. Release Kiesel and get his replacement late in the draft or via camp cuts in August.

Release Keisel? Seriously? Considering how long it takes for a DE to learn LeBeau's version of the 3-4, there is no possible way you could get a suitable replacement late in the draft or via an August cut. Keisel is painfully underrated by Steeler fans. Every one of these teams that are converting to the 3-4 would love to have a Keisel.

The only reason that Keisel's cap number is more than Smith's this season is because Keisel is entering the last year of his deal, when the base salary is typically at it highest level, while Smith is still in the middle of his contract.

Keisel signed a 4 year deal worth $13.1 million ($3.29M bonus) in 2006.
Smith signed a 5 year deal worth $24.5 million ($8M bonus) in 2007.

So, obviously, Keisel's contract is not abominable compared to Smith's. Let's not overreact here, people.

We aren't going to be able to keep every veteran on this team; at some point the difficult decisions are going to have to be made. When do the Steelers begin to do this? We are going to be drafting more younguns and some others are developing.

Pappy

We may not be able to re-sign Keisel when his contract expires after this season. We should put a priority on drafting a player who projects as a 3-4 DE (I'm still holding out hope for Gilbert in round 2). But that doesn't mean you cut a starter now with no real legit depth behind him.

Ward's cap hit alone will give the Steelers ample room to sign the rookie class. What if he doesn't want to restructure? what do you do? Same with Hampton? Foote? Something has to give by the end of training camp. How long will the NFL allow the Steelers to be over the cap? They will be if everything stays exactly as it is right now and they sign 9 draft picks. As of right now the Steelers have about $440,000 to use to sign the rooks.

Pappy

The Steelers would be more likely to extend Keisel's deal for another 3-4 years (which would lower his '09 cap number) than to cut him. Although Keisel's no longer a young buck, he is not old either...he could still contribute for several more seasons. Although not a superstar, he does the job asked of him in this defense.

They could also extend Starks' deal for another 4-5 years (which would lower his '09 cap number). If they truly believe he is their LT of the future, just get the deal done already. He is young and could grow as a player as he enters his prime.

They could extended Ward's deal for another 2-3 years (which would lower his '09 cap number). He said that he wants to retire as a Steeler, and saw what Jerome did for the team at the end of his career here.

papillon
04-23-2009, 12:56 PM
The Steelers would be more likely to extend Keisel's deal for another 3-4 years (which would lower his '09 cap number) than to cut him. Although Keisel's no longer a young buck, he is not old either...he could still contribute for several more seasons. Although not a superstar, he does the job asked of him in this defense.

They could also extend Starks' deal for another 4-5 years (which would lower his '09 cap number). If they truly believe he is their LT of the future, just get the deal done already. He is young and could grow as a player as he enters his prime.

They could extended Ward's deal for another 2-3 years (which would lower his '09 cap number). He said that he wants to retire as a Steeler, and saw what Jerome did for the team at the end of his career here.




What exactly happens when you extend an existing contract? They ask the player to take the league minimum at their position, add it to what they owe him, give a small signing bonus and amortize for 2 or 3 years? Are there other options?

In the end, I'm a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and not Hines Ward, Casey Hampton or any other Steeler player. I'll be a fan long after their playing days are done and will be thankful to have had them, but, I don't want the Steelers to jeopardize being competitive to have Hines or anyone else retire a Steeler. At this stage of their careers they have to want that more than the team does. That's just my 2 cents, I think your scenario above only delays the inevitable.

Some of these vets need to step up to the plate now for the good of the organization or the organization has to take matters into their own hands. It's ugly, but, it's life in the NFL for teams, players and fans.

Pappy

ANPSTEEL
04-23-2009, 02:09 PM
chadman- great post


I agree with pretty much all of your assessments- here is what i'll add.

I think that Parker, Foote, and Hampton are all potential trade options, for all of the reasons you mention.

But-

I think Casey is the most important to the team today. If he is traded- even though Hoke can fill in admirably, I would not want the middle of the D being
Hoke
Timmons / Farrior

What was a strength now becomes somewhat of a weakness. Teams will begin to run up the middle.

I think Foote and Parker are both more likely trades, as both of them will be coming of the bench this season.

Unfortunately, neither player will generate the type of return trading Casey would.

In respect to some other points-

Safety
The failure of the team to coach up Anthony Smith really hurts here- the guy has talent- but he just didn't fit in- and is almost certainly a better fit at SS.
I think the team will extend Ryan Clark
I think Mundy is likely resigned
and I think DeShae is considered to play free safety either as a back up to Clark or a short term starter (1 or 2 seasons)

Corner- I think the team will take a corner 1st - 3rd
DeShea, Bryant, and Lewis are serviceable as backups and in sub packages, but none are starters.

that is it for now- i've got to get back to work- or some such semblance of work.

TallyStiller
04-23-2009, 08:31 PM
Pap - assume you were around to watch the mistakes that were made as the championship teams of the '70's became the also rans of the '80's because too many 30 something players played out their injury riddled final years in the Black and Gold while we watched our camp cuts go on to star elsewhere. Hopefully we learned that lesson... a little worried that Ambassador Dan giving way to Art II doesn't help in this regard, though...

Think Casey is in danger of being cut at the beginning of this camp if he shows up fat and out of shape again... that cap number is as grotesquely bloated as his waistline was last summer, and I think there might be a few folks around who have watched him struggle against single blockers repeatedly in recent years and remember Hoke's performance the 2nd half of '04 as we won out the schedule with Casey on IR. Hoke is a serviceable rotation player who actually gets more push on passing downs... and any coach with half a brain is going to watch the 4th quarter of that Super Bowl and figure out that the way to beat us is by spreading us out and throwing all over the place. Save the cap money, get rid of a player of marginal utility going forward, send a message about conditioning... it should happen. I believe Tomlin is a shrewd man. He'll see it, too.

NorthCoast
04-23-2009, 08:41 PM
The Steelers would be more likely to extend Keisel's deal for another 3-4 years (which would lower his '09 cap number) than to cut him. Although Keisel's no longer a young buck, he is not old either...he could still contribute for several more seasons. Although not a superstar, he does the job asked of him in this defense.

They could also extend Starks' deal for another 4-5 years (which would lower his '09 cap number). If they truly believe he is their LT of the future, just get the deal done already. He is young and could grow as a player as he enters his prime.

They could extended Ward's deal for another 2-3 years (which would lower his '09 cap number). He said that he wants to retire as a Steeler, and saw what Jerome did for the team at the end of his career here.




What exactly happens when you extend an existing contract? They ask the player to take the league minimum at their position, add it to what they owe him, give a small signing bonus and amortize for 2 or 3 years? Are there other options?

In the end, I'm a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and not Hines Ward, Casey Hampton or any other Steeler player. I'll be a fan long after their playing days are done and will be thankful to have had them, but, I don't want the Steelers to jeopardize being competitive to have Hines or anyone else retire a Steeler. At this stage of their careers they have to want that more than the team does. That's just my 2 cents, I think your scenario above only delays the inevitable.

Some of these vets need to step up to the plate now for the good of the organization or the organization has to take matters into their own hands. It's ugly, but, it's life in the NFL for teams, players and fans.

Pappy

If I am understanding Colbert's comments correctly, the Steelers are unable to restructure without a CBA in place. He seemed to indicate they were hamstrung in their normal practice to extend players to reduce cap hits.

Chadman
04-24-2009, 01:39 AM
Moving on to Round 2-

The PRIORITY positions at Interior OL, DE & OT still exist, but now we add the need for WR to the list.
With the Steelers selecting Limas Sweed last season in Round 2, Chadman is going to assume that the Steelers might look for WR in later rounds. This brings the focus back on the lines. Players the Steelers have expressed an interest in that fit here are OG Andy Levitre, OG Herman Johnson, OT Phil Loadholt, DT Dorrell Scott, DT Sammy Lee Hill & POSSIBLY Eric Wood. Wood though, will likely be gone by this point.
Drafting at the end of each round tends to mean the team will be grabbing the guys that are more graded for the following round. Case in point- Phil Loadholt will LIKELY be gone by #64, so chances are he won't be a Steeler.
Chadman thinks that the fact that a rookie OG COULD immediately contribute, while rookie DE's will likely sit & learn, pushes OG/OC further up the list at this point. Levitre is a solid prospect, but could be maxed out at this point. Mike Tomlin came from the Vikings, where they love their OL Big, BIG & BIGGER.
#64, in Chadman's thinking, will be man-mountain OG Herman Johnson. How'd the last OG from LSU drafted by the Steelers work out?

Chadman
04-24-2009, 01:54 AM
Round 3-

The needs are still there at DE, OT & WR, but now CB & ILB become more of an issue to. Maybe not a GREAT need, but if BPA is ILB or CB, they could be the pick. Also, another Interior OL wouldn't hurt at this point. Still, if they've bypassed the need in Round 1 & 2 for the DL, chances are the Steelers will be tempted to look there in this round. 2 players immediately stand out as options- DE Dorrell Scott & DT/DE Sammy Lee Hill. However, this is about the territory where the Steelers don't 'stick' with visited players & look for better value picks. So, add the names of Terrence Taylor & Roy Miller to the list, along with Georgia's Corvey Irvin & Michigan's Will Johnson. Chadman believes the Steelers would look long & hard at Sammy Lee Hill here, simply because of his athletisism, however, with the 3-4 defence becoming so popular, it's likely he could be gone.
If you didn't know, the two schools that are 'most popular' at draft time for the Steelers under Kevin Colbert are Florida State &....Georgia. No reason to break from tradition-

Pick 96 is Georgia DE Corvey Irvin.