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fordfixer
05-18-2009, 12:12 AM
Team Policy Could Haunt Steelers

http://nfl.fanhouse.com/2009/05/17/team ... -steelers/ (http://nfl.fanhouse.com/2009/05/17/team-policy-could-come-back-to-haunt-steelers/)

Posted May 17, 2009 10:45PM By JJ Cooper (RSS feed)

Filed Under: Steelers, NFL Free Agency
The Steelers have always had a policy of not negotiating new contracts during the season. The theory is that the distractions of working on a contract should not get in the way of the team's focus on getting to the Super Bowl again.

Generally, it's a winning approach, as proven by the team's two Super Bowl titles in the past four years. But with the NFL heading into an uncertain season of labor negotiations, it might be worth making some exceptions to the rule.

We're four months away from the start of the 2009 season and there hasn't really been any movement towards a new collective bargaining agreement. If there is no CBA, there will be no salary cap, playoff teams will be restricted to how many free agents they can sign, and players will need at least six years of experience to become unrestricted free agents -- everyone else will be a restricted free agent. Theoretically, it's possible that a new CBA could change a variety of rules, but it's likely that any new CBA would include unrestricted free agency for players after four years, just like the current deal.

Right now, it doesn't make much sense to try to work out a long-term deal with tight end Heath Miller or tackle Willie Colon -- neither will be unrestricted free agents without a new CBA. But if a new CBA is ratified during the middle of the 2009 season, do you want to risk losing Miller over a team policy?

With somewhere between seven and nine starters heading to free agency after the 2009 season (depending on whether a new CBA has been signed), Pittsburgh is going to lose some free agents. But it's hard to know exactly how to plan until you now if there is a salary cap and whether it's seven or nine players headed to unrestricted free agency

Djfan
05-18-2009, 12:41 AM
Miller is a must sign. Speath is trade bait.

Oviedo
05-18-2009, 07:49 AM
Miller is a must sign. Speath is trade bait.


I have always disagreed with the policy of not negotiating during the season. You have the benfit of exclusive negotiation rights with a player so why forfeit that advantage and wait until free agency when you know the market is going to go insane with some owners spending like drunken sailors and distorting the market.

I agree that Miller is the one "must sign."
BTW--Spaeth is a solid #2 TE. He did a very good job when Heath was out with injuries. He is far from trade bait.