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View Full Version : Hate seeing this type of article...Heath Miller



papillon
07-02-2009, 01:12 PM
Heath Miller (http://www.examiner.com/x-14024-Pittsburgh-Steelers-Examiner~y2009m7d1-Steelers-TE-Miller-may-become-a-salarycap-casualty) may become a cap casualty. Lets hope not, but the Steelers are going to have to make some decisions at some point.

:evil:

Pappy

SteelTorch
07-02-2009, 01:27 PM
Hate to say it, but I could see this happening. As good as he is, Heath is terribly under-utilized in our system. For crying out loud, you'd think with our terrible O-line, that would be a different story. He's a pro-bowl level TE who never gets the credit he deserves, and I could see him migrating to a different team that will utilize him much more effectively and pay him top dollar, especially now that he has two SB rings. :x

Of course, I'm hoping that DOESN'T happen. But with our FO, you never know...

steelernation77
07-02-2009, 01:52 PM
This is just speculation by some blogger. The "examiner" **** isn't legit.

Mister Pittsburgh
07-02-2009, 01:59 PM
All I will say is we better F'ing resign Heath Miller.

Djfan
07-02-2009, 02:16 PM
Speath goes before Miller.

RuthlessBurgher
07-02-2009, 02:28 PM
Heath is not some luxury. He is a young player with star potential, and prototypical Steeler TE. He is by far the most important of the pending FA's. No way he walks. We either re-sign him now with the Starks savings (although that money may go toward Clark/Reed/Hood), give him the franchise tag next year if the is a CBA (about half what we were scheduled to pay for Max's tag), or give him an RFA tender if there is no CBA (since he would need 6 accrued seasons instead of 4).

frankthetank1
07-02-2009, 02:59 PM
well this is probably hampton's last season so wont they have money free to re-sign heath after the season? i would rather see any of the guys mentioned go free agent before heath. i did not know gay is a fa after next season but i doubt he would cost a whole lot. i would even rather see clark sign some where else before heath. clark is older and a lot more injury prone than miller.

papillon
07-02-2009, 03:00 PM
Heath is not some luxury. He is a young player with star potential, and prototypical Steeler TE. He is by far the most important of the pending FA's. No way he walks. We either re-sign him now with the Starks savings (although that money may go toward Clark/Reed/Hood), give him the franchise tag next year if the is a CBA (about half what we were scheduled to pay for Max's tag), or give him an RFA tender if there is no CBA (since he would need 6 accrued seasons instead of 4).

Aren't the Steelers too close to the cap limit to tag him at about 4.5 million per year?

Pappy

Jigawatts
07-02-2009, 03:11 PM
As good as he is, Heath is terribly under-utilized in our system.

:Agree

I'm a stupid fan who blames the offensive coordinator for this.

BradshawsHairdresser
07-02-2009, 03:59 PM
As good as he is, Heath is terribly under-utilized in our system.

:Agree

I'm a stupid fan who blames the offensive coordinator for this.
:Agree

MeetJoeGreene
07-02-2009, 04:13 PM
Hate to say it, but I could see this happening. As good as he is, Heath is terribly under-utilized in our system. For crying out loud, you'd think with our terrible O-line, that would be a different story. He's a pro-bowl level TE who never gets the credit he deserves, and I could see him migrating to a different team that will utilize him much more effectively and pay him top dollar, especially now that he has two SB rings. :x

Of course, I'm hoping that DOESN'T happen. But with our FO, you never know...

I, unfortunately, think you may be right. He is not utilized and thus could be replaced, much cheaper, by a good-blocking, adequate catching TE...... and use the $$ elsewhere. I hope that I am wrong, but it could be.....

Flasteel
07-02-2009, 04:42 PM
Heath is not some luxury. He is a young player with star potential, and prototypical Steeler TE. He is by far the most important of the pending FA's. No way he walks. We either re-sign him now with the Starks savings (although that money may go toward Clark/Reed/Hood), give him the franchise tag next year if the is a CBA (about half what we were scheduled to pay for Max's tag), or give him an RFA tender if there is no CBA (since he would need 6 accrued seasons instead of 4).

Agreed. Besides, the only times we've ever let a player walk who was this young and talented was when they hit the open market and we had to compete with unrealistic salary demands (like Chad Brown) or they had the markings of a turd (like Plax). I say Miller stays put.

RuthlessBurgher
07-02-2009, 04:48 PM
Heath is not some luxury. He is a young player with star potential, and prototypical Steeler TE. He is by far the most important of the pending FA's. No way he walks. We either re-sign him now with the Starks savings (although that money may go toward Clark/Reed/Hood), give him the franchise tag next year if the is a CBA (about half what we were scheduled to pay for Max's tag), or give him an RFA tender if there is no CBA (since he would need 6 accrued seasons instead of 4).

Aren't the Steelers too close to the cap limit to tag him at about 4.5 million per year?

Pappy

We are too close this year, but he is already signed for '09, so that is not an issue. There should be a lot of money coming off the cap next (all of the other guys going into their last season who may not be re-signed next year) so $4.5 million for Heath should be do-able.

SteelHead
07-02-2009, 05:21 PM
Hate to say it, but I could see this happening. As good as he is, Heath is terribly under-utilized in our system. For crying out loud, you'd think with our terrible O-line, that would be a different story. He's a pro-bowl level TE who never gets the credit he deserves, and I could see him migrating to a different team that will utilize him much more effectively and pay him top dollar, especially now that he has two SB rings. :x

Of course, I'm hoping that DOESN'T happen. But with our FO, you never know...

I, unfortunately, think you may be right. He is not utilized and thus could be replaced, much cheaper, by a good-blocking, adequate catching TE...... and use the $$ elsewhere. I hope that I am wrong, but it could be.....

Despite Heath being under utilized I have to disagree that anyone on the team or in the FO believes replacing him with a less talented TE just to "match production" would be the right move. His numbers don't stand out I know but he is the definition of reliable. How often does he drop passes with limited opportunities , hardly ever. He blocks his tail off , never gets hurt and always picks up huge first downs with his grit and determination. I love seeing tacklers bounce off the guy , see the NE game. Heath is everything that being a Steeler is about and if the decision gets made that a cheaper , less talented TE will bring to the table what Heath does , you're in for a let down.

BURGH86STEEL
07-02-2009, 05:36 PM
This is a tough situation for Heath. I guess a lot depends how he and his agent see his value. I think the Steelers have some idea of his value. Based on how they use him and the other weapons in the offense, they may not see him as a top 5 TE in the league. He may think that he is even though his numbers don't support that argument. How much do the other qualities that he brings override the numbers in the Steeler's minds?

If they cannot get something done with Heath, I think Spaeth is a capable replacement. They cannot afford to keep everyone.

Ozey74
07-02-2009, 05:47 PM
I love Heath just like the rest of you, but Spaeth did have two six-catch games last year when he had to fill in for Miller.

RuthlessBurgher
07-02-2009, 05:59 PM
Spaeth is not nearly the blocker that Heath is, and drops way more passes. Heath has Pro Bowl potential while Spaeth is a solid backup. Huge difference there. This team does not let young elite talents walk. I think Heath qualifies.

buckeyehoppy
07-02-2009, 06:45 PM
well this is probably hampton's last season so wont they have money free to re-sign heath after the season? i would rather see any of the guys mentioned go free agent before heath. i did not know gay is a fa after next season but i doubt he would cost a whole lot. i would even rather see clark sign some where else before heath. clark is older and a lot more injury prone than miller.

Based on their lengths of service, it isn't highly likely that either Hampton or Clark will be re-upped. And there's virtually no way that both are.

And the Steelers saved $$$ on the Starks deal...and Heath will get 2/3rds of his annual jack if he's lucky. And Arians needs to get it through his fat head that Heath needs a more versatile role in the offense anyway.

Heath is a must sign. Colbert and the brain trust need to get this deal done before camp, if possible. The clock is ticking.

NKySteeler
07-02-2009, 07:06 PM
Personally, I can see the points made in the article with Clark, Gay, and Holmes. But Hampton, Townsend, and Keisel may become expendable... But let's not forget Reed, who is also coming up on "deal time", and he needs to be signed IMO.

I like Spaeth, but he's no "Miller"... But if you're gonna spend the $$$, he needs to be utilized more, and I'm just not sure that will ever happen with Arians deriving the offensive schemes.

... All of that said, the author failed to address the issue of the "uncapped" season we will be having... Yea, the Rooneys will still have to come up with the cash, but we will have the available room to make some of these signings if we choose, if it in fact happens, if I understand it correctly.

Bottom line, I'm torn on this issue with Miller... I see the point being made, but I also see the advantages he provides...

Personally, I hope to see him signed because I think there will be a way when the dust settles.

steelcityrules!!
07-02-2009, 07:50 PM
I can't possibly see them dumping miller for a quazi-cheaper version. He's all upside, no downside. hands of glue, toughest S.O.B. on the team to tackle, and superb blocker to boot. throw in his durability and that most T.E.'s don't break the bank anyhow, and it's a can't miss deal.

hampton's days are numbered i think, and if mundy fills in like I know he can WHEN clark gets dinged up this season, Clark might never see is starting job again.

I love clark, but we all know he's going to be hurt at some point, he's like a missile.

RuthlessBurgher
07-02-2009, 09:51 PM
i did not know gay is a fa after next season but i doubt he would cost a whole lot.

William Gay is entering the 3rd season on the 3 year rookie deal he signed after being drafted in '07. He will be a restricted free agent after this year. Depending on the level of the tender that we give him, we would be due draft pick compensation if another team were to sign him to an offer sheet that we chose not to match.

Here were the RFA values for this season (they are likely to go up next year, but not significantly)

$1.01 million = 5th round pick (since Gay was originally drafted in the 5th)

$1.545 million = 2nd round pick

$2.198 million = 1st round pick

$2.792 million = 1st and 3rd round picks

We gave Sean McHugh and Anthony Madison $1.01 million RFA tenders and gave Willie Colon the $2.198 RFA tender for this season. We did not give Anthony Smith an RFA tender, allowing him to sign with the Packers instead.

papillon
07-02-2009, 11:13 PM
A few have mentioned that they would like to see Heath be a bigger part of the offense. I don't believe that he can be a bigger part of the offense; unless, of course, his increase is at the expense of another receivers catches. Since Ben took over in 2004 the Steelers have averaged 238 completions per season with last year's 281 being the most. If your #1 receiver gets 80-85 catches, #2 around 60, #'s 3 and 4 combine for 60-65 and the backs tally 20 total there isn't much left for Miller.

I just don't see Miller ever being more than a 40-45 catch TE with the Steelers. For the Steelers that's all they need, because, many of those catches move the sticks and occasionally result in a TD. If Miller is fine with that role and is willing to be paid as a 40-45 catch guy he'll be a Steeler; if he believes he can be a bigger part of an offense he'll leave.

No matter how good he is, he'll never be used like Winslow, Gates or Gonzalez in the Steeler offense. I hope he stays, it will be up to him.

Pappy

RuthlessBurgher
07-02-2009, 11:24 PM
A few have mentioned that they would like to see Heath be a bigger part of the offense. I don't believe that he can be a bigger part of the offense; unless, of course, his increase is at the expense of another receivers catches. Since Ben took over in 2004 the Steelers have averaged 238 completions per season with last year's 281 being the most. If your #1 receiver gets 80-85 catches, #2 around 60, #'s 3 and 4 combine for 60-65 and the backs tally 20 total there isn't much left for Miller.

I just don't see Miller ever being more than a 40-45 catch TE with the Steelers. For the Steelers that's all they need, because, many of those catches move the sticks and occasionally result in a TD. If Miller is fine with that role and is willing to be paid as a 40-45 catch guy he'll be a Steeler; if he believes he can be a bigger part of an offense he'll leave.

No matter how good he is, he'll never be used like Winslow, Gates or Gonzalez in the Steeler offense. I hope he stays, it will be up to him.

Pappy

I think as Hines ages (which inevitably will happen no matter how much we don't like it), his numbers will decline. Hines always specialized in being a dependable, sure-handed guy who could catch the tough ball over the middle in traffic, move the sticks, lay the wood on blocks, and find the open spots in the end zone. The next closest thing that we have on our roster to fit that description is Heath Miller, even though Hines and Heath play different positions. Holmes, Sweed, and Wallace can be big-play, downfield, vertical threats. I don't necessarily see those guys being responsible for the types of catches in the future that Hines always seemed to make routinely. As Ward's numbers decline with age, I think Miller's numbers can rise with experience, since they will play much the same role in the passing game (even though one guy is 6'0" and the other is 6'5").

papillon
07-02-2009, 11:46 PM
A few have mentioned that they would like to see Heath be a bigger part of the offense. I don't believe that he can be a bigger part of the offense; unless, of course, his increase is at the expense of another receivers catches. Since Ben took over in 2004 the Steelers have averaged 238 completions per season with last year's 281 being the most. If your #1 receiver gets 80-85 catches, #2 around 60, #'s 3 and 4 combine for 60-65 and the backs tally 20 total there isn't much left for Miller.

I just don't see Miller ever being more than a 40-45 catch TE with the Steelers. For the Steelers that's all they need, because, many of those catches move the sticks and occasionally result in a TD. If Miller is fine with that role and is willing to be paid as a 40-45 catch guy he'll be a Steeler; if he believes he can be a bigger part of an offense he'll leave.

No matter how good he is, he'll never be used like Winslow, Gates or Gonzalez in the Steeler offense. I hope he stays, it will be up to him.

Pappy

I think as Hines ages (which inevitably will happen no matter how much we don't like it), his numbers will decline. Hines always specialized in being a dependable, sure-handed guy who could catch the tough ball over the middle in traffic, move the sticks, lay the wood on blocks, and find the open spots in the end zone. The next closest thing that we have on our roster to fit that description is Heath Miller, even though Hines and Heath play different positions. Holmes, Sweed, and Wallace can be big-play, downfield, vertical threats. I don't necessarily see those guys being responsible for the types of catches in the future that Hines always seemed to make routinely. As Ward's numbers decline with age, I think Miller's numbers can rise with experience, since they will play much the same role in the passing game (even though one guy is 6'0" and the other is 6'5").

Maybe, however, that wouid be completely out of character for the Steelers to increase the TEs catches to compensate for declining production atg the WR position. The Steelers are hoping that the Holmes/Sweed 1-2 combo will combine for the 140 catches that the Ward/Holmes tandem caught.

It's going to come down to will the Steelers pay elite TE money for a TE that has the capability to put up elite numbers, but won't because of the offense.

Pappy

BURGH86STEEL
07-03-2009, 07:42 AM
A few have mentioned that they would like to see Heath be a bigger part of the offense. I don't believe that he can be a bigger part of the offense; unless, of course, his increase is at the expense of another receivers catches. Since Ben took over in 2004 the Steelers have averaged 238 completions per season with last year's 281 being the most. If your #1 receiver gets 80-85 catches, #2 around 60, #'s 3 and 4 combine for 60-65 and the backs tally 20 total there isn't much left for Miller.

I just don't see Miller ever being more than a 40-45 catch TE with the Steelers. For the Steelers that's all they need, because, many of those catches move the sticks and occasionally result in a TD. If Miller is fine with that role and is willing to be paid as a 40-45 catch guy he'll be a Steeler; if he believes he can be a bigger part of an offense he'll leave.

No matter how good he is, he'll never be used like Winslow, Gates or Gonzalez in the Steeler offense. I hope he stays, it will be up to him.

Pappy

I agree, I've stated before that there are not enough balls to go around in the offense. Miller will never be a focal point within the offense with all the other weapons they have, nor should he be.

I do hope he stays.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
07-03-2009, 10:12 AM
IMO this article is nonsense. I haven't seen next year's cap numbers but I know that the team has, and they did two very important things to prepare for next year.

1) They cut Kendall Simmons prior to June 1 of this year. We are taking a big $4.67M bite on that one this year so that we were able to clear him off the books for next year.

2) Same for Sean Mahan. He is counting $2.4M this year so that we have nothing for him next year.

Also, consider the favorite Steelers move - the restructure. This team is always ready to get that done to save us a few bucks under the cap.

Believe it or not, this FO is still a little bit smarter than guys who just write blogs. I'm pretty sure they know which contracts are coming due and are working at keeping the guys who they believe are most important. If they want to keep Heath, the only way it doesn't happen is if he decides to pull a Faneca.

Acero
07-03-2009, 10:30 AM
How much do the other qualities that he brings override the numbers in the Steeler's minds?.

I think if you ask the same question of Hines Ward, you'll have your answer. Miller certainly deserves to be extended and I hope he does. He's a great team guy, has a great relationship with Roethlisberger and is money on third downs when given the chance.

plainnasty
07-03-2009, 10:33 AM
There is no way that Miller will be a cap casualty! If they don't sign him this summer, it'll be because of the CBA. In that case, they will sign him to a long term deal next year.

Chachi
07-04-2009, 07:56 AM
As good as he is, Heath is terribly under-utilized in our system.

:Agree

I'm a stupid fan who blames the offensive coordinator for this.
:Agree

I'm a stupid fan who blames the Steelers' institution for this.

How many years, over how many players, over how many OCs have we been saying, "Our TE is under-utilized in our system"?

10 years, 15 years? Steelers fans were saying this even in the days of Eric Green....before Green.

Oviedo
07-04-2009, 09:23 AM
I'm one of the biggest advocates on this board of increasing the number of touches that our TEs get but I really can't see Miller ever getting more than 30-40 catches unless we have a real problem losing our top two WRs. Our WRs right now are just too good and potentially our RBs are too good to eliminate touches from both those position to increase Miller and Spaeth getting more.

I do think that Miller brings a huge benefit to the offense with his blocking ability and until they get this OL performing at a high level that will make keeping him all the more essential.

I realy don't think there will be an issue with Miller staying unless Miller doesn't want to stay. If there is no CBA he will be at a minimum tagged for one more year, possibly two.

BURGH86STEEL
07-04-2009, 07:12 PM
How much do the other qualities that he brings override the numbers in the Steeler's minds?.

I think if you ask the same question of Hines Ward, you'll have your answer. Miller certainly deserves to be extended and I hope he does. He's a great team guy, has a great relationship with Roethlisberger and is money on third downs when given the chance.

I hope he gets extended. Maybe he wants to be the highest paid TE in the league? I am sure if they could, they would make every player on the team the highest paid at their positions. Unfortunately, the can't. Maybe they can't afford to make him the highest paid TE due to the salary cap money they have this year?

I hope they work something out. If they can't, good luck to Heath.

Chadman
07-05-2009, 06:28 PM
Chadman would be surprised if Heath Miller was let go before say, Willie Parker, Keiwan Ratliffe, Travis Kirschke etc.

papillon
07-05-2009, 10:29 PM
Chadman would be surprised if Heath Miller was let go before say, Willie Parker, Keiwan Ratliffe, Travis Kirschke etc.

The Steelers certainly don't want to let him go, but lets take a look at some things we know or believe we know.

1) Is Heath Miller a top 6-7 TE in the league? (I say yes. maybe top 5 and certainly in the top 2 or 3 as an overall TE)
2) Will Heath Miller receive many offers if he hits free agency? (I say yes)
3) Will they be large offers? (I say yes)
4) Does Heath have top 6-7 TE production in the Steeler offense? (I say no)
5) Is he valuable to the Steelers? (Yes)
6) Will the Steelers pay him top 6-7 money for production not in that category? (I say no)

How do the Steelers keep him? Make him a fair, but less than top 6-7 offer and hope he gives you a discount to want to be a Steeler.

Pappy

Iron Shiek
07-06-2009, 09:55 AM
Chadman would be surprised if Heath Miller was let go before say, Willie Parker, Keiwan Ratliffe, Travis Kirschke etc.

The Steelers certainly don't want to let him go, but lets take a look at some things we know or believe we know.

1) Is Heath Miller a top 6-7 TE in the league? (I say yes. maybe top 5 and certainly in the top 2 or 3 as an overall TE)
2) Will Heath Miller receive many offers if he hits free agency? (I say yes)
3) Will they be large offers? (I say yes)
4) Does Heath have top 6-7 TE production in the Steeler offense? (I say no)
5) Is he valuable to the Steelers? (Yes)
6) Will the Steelers pay him top 6-7 money for production not in that category? (I say no)

How do the Steelers keep him? Make him a fair, but less than top 6-7 offer and hope he gives you a discount to want to be a Steeler.

Pappy

Or tag his a$$...which I would be against...but they seem to like using tags...the average of top 5 te's or whatever the designation is wouldn't be outrageous. But I would think a long term deal will be reached.

MeetJoeGreene
07-06-2009, 10:00 AM
Tagging is fine. I am not opposed to tagging, per se.

It only buys us, however, 1 year - it is not a long term solution and we need to have the cap room to do it.

RuthlessBurgher
07-06-2009, 10:12 AM
This past season, the franchise tag amount for TE's (average of top 5 TE's in the league) was $4,462,000 and the transition tag amount for TE's (average of top 10 TE's in the league) was $4,065,000.

I think he would be worth a long term deal averaging in the $4 million range. If we can't get it worked out by the time free agency starts next off-season, you could give him the franchise tag (it may rise slightly next year, but not by much).

If there is no CBA, though, we could keep him for another year with just a RFA tender since he would need 6 accrued seasons to reach unrestricted free agency instead of just 4 in that case. This past season, a RFA tender of only $1.01 million would give you the right of first refusal and if another team signed him to an offer sheet, and you chose not to match, you would get compensation of the same round in which he was originally drafted (meaning that other team would owe us their first round pick).

pfelix73
07-06-2009, 10:22 AM
As good as he is, Heath is terribly under-utilized in our system.

:Agree

I'm a stupid fan who blames the offensive coordinator for this.
:Agree


:Agree

Slapstick
07-06-2009, 10:30 AM
Does Heath Miller produce like a top 5 TE in this offense? Right now, no, he does not...

But, that isn't Heath Miller's fault...

If Heath Miller is resigned (or tagged with the goal of a long-term deal) then the offense must be changed to make him more of a focal point...it's as simple as that...

When Nate Washington was a Steeler, I did like having him on the team...but, I never understood why he was seemingly given a greater chance to succeed than Miller...

Will Heath Miller never produce like a top 5 TE in the Steelers offense? Possibly...but, that's up to Arians and Tomlin...

It is true that there are only so many passes to go around...the question is, would it be necessarily a bad thing to "take passes away" from another receiver and throw more passes to Miller?

It depends...will you put Miller in a position to succeed?

papillon
07-06-2009, 11:27 AM
This past season, the franchise tag amount for TE's (average of top 5 TE's in the league) was $4,462,000 and the transition tag amount for TE's (average of top 10 TE's in the league) was $4,065,000.

I think he would be worth a long term deal averaging in the $4 million range. If we can't get it worked out by the time free agency starts next off-season, you could give him the franchise tag (it may rise slightly next year, but not by much).

If there is no CBA, though, we could keep him for another year with just a RFA tender since he would need 6 accrued seasons to reach unrestricted free agency instead of just 4 in that case. This past season, a RFA tender of only $1.01 million would give you the right of first refusal and if another team signed him to an offer sheet, and you chose not to match, you would get compensation of the same round in which he was originally drafted (meaning that other team would owe us their first round pick).

The Steelers are perilously close top the cap limit right now (about 2 million after Starks' contract was renegotiated and extended); I don't see them having 4 million per to spend anytime soon, unless, there are other veteran cap casualties, Hampton, Kiesel, Clark, Reed, Townsend, Parker and any other usual suspect.

Personally, I would rather secure 2 players rather than just one, particularly when your choices are all proven veterans like Clark, Reed and Parker. I don't think I'd try to sign Heath at the cost of multiple other players.

The difficult part is that Heath is the embodiment of Steeler football.

Pappy

Oviedo
07-06-2009, 11:35 AM
This past season, the franchise tag amount for TE's (average of top 5 TE's in the league) was $4,462,000 and the transition tag amount for TE's (average of top 10 TE's in the league) was $4,065,000.

I think he would be worth a long term deal averaging in the $4 million range. If we can't get it worked out by the time free agency starts next off-season, you could give him the franchise tag (it may rise slightly next year, but not by much).

If there is no CBA, though, we could keep him for another year with just a RFA tender since he would need 6 accrued seasons to reach unrestricted free agency instead of just 4 in that case. This past season, a RFA tender of only $1.01 million would give you the right of first refusal and if another team signed him to an offer sheet, and you chose not to match, you would get compensation of the same round in which he was originally drafted (meaning that other team would owe us their first round pick).

The Steelers are perilously close top the cap limit right now (about 2 million after Starks' contract was renegotiated and extended); I don't see them having 4 million per to spend anytime soon, unless, there are other veteran cap casualties, Hampton, Kiesel, Clark, Reed, Townsend, Parker and any other usual suspect.

Personally, I would rather secure 2 players rather than just one, particularly when your choices are all proven veterans like Clark, Reed and Parker. I don't think I'd try to sign Heath at the cost of multiple other players.

The difficult part is that Heath is the embodiment of Steeler football.

Pappy

I think with heath the numbers would not hit this year because he is under contract this year and the extension would not take effect until after next year. The question would be how much a pro rated bonus would hit this year's cap number or would that also take effect next year when we have to assume that some number of contracts like Parker, Hampton, Clark, etc are either off the books or have been renegotiated to more favorable numbers.

As long as you have replacements for other players I don't see it as signing one and losing three. Keep in mind that eventually we have to shed higher priced veterans and get cheaper younger players to step in and perform. Can't live on the cap edge forever before you eventually have to reset the equation.

RuthlessBurgher
07-06-2009, 12:24 PM
This past season, the franchise tag amount for TE's (average of top 5 TE's in the league) was $4,462,000 and the transition tag amount for TE's (average of top 10 TE's in the league) was $4,065,000.

I think he would be worth a long term deal averaging in the $4 million range. If we can't get it worked out by the time free agency starts next off-season, you could give him the franchise tag (it may rise slightly next year, but not by much).

If there is no CBA, though, we could keep him for another year with just a RFA tender since he would need 6 accrued seasons to reach unrestricted free agency instead of just 4 in that case. This past season, a RFA tender of only $1.01 million would give you the right of first refusal and if another team signed him to an offer sheet, and you chose not to match, you would get compensation of the same round in which he was originally drafted (meaning that other team would owe us their first round pick).

The Steelers are perilously close top the cap limit right now (about 2 million after Starks' contract was renegotiated and extended); I don't see them having 4 million per to spend anytime soon, unless, there are other veteran cap casualties, Hampton, Kiesel, Clark, Reed, Townsend, Parker and any other usual suspect.

Personally, I would rather secure 2 players rather than just one, particularly when your choices are all proven veterans like Clark, Reed and Parker. I don't think I'd try to sign Heath at the cost of multiple other players.

The difficult part is that Heath is the embodiment of Steeler football.

Pappy

Players with one year left on their contracts are Miller, Parker, Colon, Hampton, Keisel, Townsend, Clark, Reed. We are currently 2 million under the cap with all of their salaries on the books. Maybe enough to sign our last unsigned draft pick Ziggy Hood and then possibly extend either Clark or Reed now. With all of those salaries coming off the books after this season, there will more than just $2 million worth of space to work with.

I think there will be enough room to re-sign half of them and let the other half walk. I think we make the biggest effort to re-sign Miller, Clark, Reed, and either Keisel or Hampton. I think Colon, Parker, Townsend, and either Keisel or Hampton (whichever of the two is not re-signed...I don't think we can afford both...just like I thought we would only be able to re-sign Starks or Colon, and the Starks deal has already been done, so I suspect we will see another RT in 2010 unless there is no CBA and Colon can stick around for one more year under an RFA tender just like this season).

You mentioned that you would rather keep two other of our potential free agents than one in Miller. For instance, would you rather extend, say Parker and Townsend and let Heath walk? Heath is undoubtedly your #1 TE and is head-and-shoulders above Spaeth, but you can't say the same about Parker and Townsend anymore.

Parker has some tread on his tires (over 1000 career carries already and he will be heading into his 7th NFL season in 2010 (he will turn 30 during that season as well, which tends to be a perilous age for NFL RB's). Townsend will be heading into his 13th season in the league in 2010 (he will turn 35 at the beginning of that season, which is ancient for a DB). I would much rather see a 2010 RB depth chart without Parker (Rashard Mendenhall, Mewelde Moore, Frank Summers) and a 2010 CB depth chart without Townsend (Ike Taylor, William Gay, Keenan Lewis, Joe Burnett) than a 2010 TE depth chart without Miller (Matt Spaeth, Sean McHugh, and D.J. Johnson). You keep your young, potentially elite starters over veteran depth players.

Oviedo
07-06-2009, 12:37 PM
This past season, the franchise tag amount for TE's (average of top 5 TE's in the league) was $4,462,000 and the transition tag amount for TE's (average of top 10 TE's in the league) was $4,065,000.

I think he would be worth a long term deal averaging in the $4 million range. If we can't get it worked out by the time free agency starts next off-season, you could give him the franchise tag (it may rise slightly next year, but not by much).

If there is no CBA, though, we could keep him for another year with just a RFA tender since he would need 6 accrued seasons to reach unrestricted free agency instead of just 4 in that case. This past season, a RFA tender of only $1.01 million would give you the right of first refusal and if another team signed him to an offer sheet, and you chose not to match, you would get compensation of the same round in which he was originally drafted (meaning that other team would owe us their first round pick).

The Steelers are perilously close top the cap limit right now (about 2 million after Starks' contract was renegotiated and extended); I don't see them having 4 million per to spend anytime soon, unless, there are other veteran cap casualties, Hampton, Kiesel, Clark, Reed, Townsend, Parker and any other usual suspect.

Personally, I would rather secure 2 players rather than just one, particularly when your choices are all proven veterans like Clark, Reed and Parker. I don't think I'd try to sign Heath at the cost of multiple other players.

The difficult part is that Heath is the embodiment of Steeler football.

Pappy

Players with one year left on their contracts are Miller, Parker, Colon, Hampton, Keisel, Townsend, Clark, Reed. We are currently 2 million under the cap with all of their salaries on the books. Maybe enough to sign our last unsigned draft pick Ziggy Hood and then possibly extend either Clark or Reed now. With all of those salaries coming off the books after this season, there will more than just $2 million worth of space to work with.

I think there will be enough room to re-sign half of them and let the other half walk. I think we make the biggest effort to re-sign Miller, Clark, Reed, and either Keisel or Hampton. I think Colon, Parker, Townsend, and either Keisel or Hampton (whichever of the two is not re-signed...I don't think we can afford both...just like I thought we would only be able to re-sign Starks or Colon, and the Starks deal has already been done, so I suspect we will see another RT in 2010 unless there is no CBA and Colon can stick around for one more year under an RFA tender just like this season).

You mentioned that you would rather keep two other of our potential free agents than one in Miller. For instance, would you rather extend, say Parker and Townsend and let Heath walk? Heath is undoubtedly your #1 TE and is head-and-shoulders above Spaeth, but you can't say the same about Parker and Townsend anymore.

Parker has some tread on his tires (over 1000 career carries already and he will be heading into his 7th NFL season in 2010 (he will turn 30 during that season as well, which tends to be a perilous age for NFL RB's). Townsend will be heading into his 13th season in the league in 2010 (he will turn 35 at the beginning of that season, which is ancient for a DB). I would much rather see a 2010 RB depth chart without Parker (Rashard Mendenhall, Mewelde Moore, Frank Summers) and a 2010 CB depth chart without Townsend (Ike Taylor, William Gay, Keenan Lewis, Joe Burnett) than a 2010 TE depth chart without Miller (Matt Spaeth, Sean McHugh, and D.J. Johnson). You keep your young, potentially elite starters over veteran depth players.

The only thing you say that I disagree with is


a 2010 TE depth chart without Miller (Matt Spaeth, Sean McHugh, and D.J. Johnson).

I think Miller is very valuable and his numbers are a function of the offense not utilizing our TEs like they should. However, if Miller leaves I do have to agree that it is hardly a huge impact because TEs are usually available throughout the draft if you are just using them as primarily blockers versus quasi-H backs. Also don't forget that we have Dezmond Sherrod (6'2" 250lbs) also on the roster who oooked impressive catching the ball last pre season.

I still believe that Miller stays but the Steelers won't break the bank on him so he has to want to stay and ignore that he could get more on the open market.

papillon
07-06-2009, 12:52 PM
This past season, the franchise tag amount for TE's (average of top 5 TE's in the league) was $4,462,000 and the transition tag amount for TE's (average of top 10 TE's in the league) was $4,065,000.

I think he would be worth a long term deal averaging in the $4 million range. If we can't get it worked out by the time free agency starts next off-season, you could give him the franchise tag (it may rise slightly next year, but not by much).

If there is no CBA, though, we could keep him for another year with just a RFA tender since he would need 6 accrued seasons to reach unrestricted free agency instead of just 4 in that case. This past season, a RFA tender of only $1.01 million would give you the right of first refusal and if another team signed him to an offer sheet, and you chose not to match, you would get compensation of the same round in which he was originally drafted (meaning that other team would owe us their first round pick).

The Steelers are perilously close top the cap limit right now (about 2 million after Starks' contract was renegotiated and extended); I don't see them having 4 million per to spend anytime soon, unless, there are other veteran cap casualties, Hampton, Kiesel, Clark, Reed, Townsend, Parker and any other usual suspect.

Personally, I would rather secure 2 players rather than just one, particularly when your choices are all proven veterans like Clark, Reed and Parker. I don't think I'd try to sign Heath at the cost of multiple other players.

The difficult part is that Heath is the embodiment of Steeler football.

Pappy

Players with one year left on their contracts are Miller, Parker, Colon, Hampton, Keisel, Townsend, Clark, Reed. We are currently 2 million under the cap with all of their salaries on the books. Maybe enough to sign our last unsigned draft pick Ziggy Hood and then possibly extend either Clark or Reed now. With all of those salaries coming off the books after this season, there will more than just $2 million worth of space to work with.

I think there will be enough room to re-sign half of them and let the other half walk. I think we make the biggest effort to re-sign Miller, Clark, Reed, and either Keisel or Hampton. I think Colon, Parker, Townsend, and either Keisel or Hampton (whichever of the two is not re-signed...I don't think we can afford both...just like I thought we would only be able to re-sign Starks or Colon, and the Starks deal has already been done, so I suspect we will see another RT in 2010 unless there is no CBA and Colon can stick around for one more year under an RFA tender just like this season).

You mentioned that you would rather keep two other of our potential free agents than one in Miller. For instance, would you rather extend, say Parker and Townsend and let Heath walk? Heath is undoubtedly your #1 TE and is head-and-shoulders above Spaeth, but you can't say the same about Parker and Townsend anymore.

Parker has some tread on his tires (over 1000 career carries already and he will be heading into his 7th NFL season in 2010 (he will turn 30 during that season as well, which tends to be a perilous age for NFL RB's). Townsend will be heading into his 13th season in the league in 2010 (he will turn 35 at the beginning of that season, which is ancient for a DB). I would much rather see a 2010 RB depth chart without Parker (Rashard Mendenhall, Mewelde Moore, Frank Summers) and a 2010 CB depth chart without Townsend (Ike Taylor, William Gay, Keenan Lewis, Joe Burnett) than a 2010 TE depth chart without Miller (Matt Spaeth, Sean McHugh, and D.J. Johnson). You keep your young, potentially elite starters over veteran depth players.

I want the Steelers to find a way to keep Heath Miller; he's the most underrated player in the NFL, IMHO. Announcers don't even know he's on the team, other teams never mention him, but he makes a ton of plays. My contention is that it will be difficult to keep him and some other veterans that are pretty good, ie, Clark, Parker and Reed (not Townsend, he's 36, I think). If it came down to keeping two of those players or Miller, I think I'd opt for 2 players over one player, unfortunately.

Clark and Reed would be the preference, but, with the way RBs get hurt in this league, keeping Parker and Reed or Clark would be my preference over Miller.

Ideally, Miller, Clark and Reed are all Steelers for a long time, that will take some veteran salary elimination after this year.

The Steelers simply under utilize a tight end for them to spend large sums of money on the position.

Pappy

RuthlessBurgher
07-06-2009, 01:08 PM
I want the Steelers to find a way to keep Heath Miller; he's the most underrated player in the NFL, IMHO. Announcers don't even know he's on the team, other teams never mention him, but he makes a ton of plays. My contention is that it will be difficult to keep him and some other veterans that are pretty good, ie, Clark, Parker and Reed (not Townsend, he's 36, I think). If it came down to keeping two of those players or Miller, I think I'd opt for 2 players over one player, unfortunately.

Clark and Reed would be the preference, but, with the way RBs get hurt in this league, keeping Parker and Reed or Clark would be my preference over Miller.

Ideally, Miller, Clark and Reed are all Steelers for a long time, that will take some veteran salary elimination after this year.

The Steelers simply under utilize a tight end for them to spend large sums of money on the position.

Pappy

I think re-signing Miller, Clark, and Reed is very doable (likely one of them during this off-season and the other two after the season). Those would be my top 3 realistic targets for extensions (at the expense of, say, Willie Parker).

papillon
07-06-2009, 01:18 PM
I want the Steelers to find a way to keep Heath Miller; he's the most underrated player in the NFL, IMHO. Announcers don't even know he's on the team, other teams never mention him, but he makes a ton of plays. My contention is that it will be difficult to keep him and some other veterans that are pretty good, ie, Clark, Parker and Reed (not Townsend, he's 36, I think). If it came down to keeping two of those players or Miller, I think I'd opt for 2 players over one player, unfortunately.

Clark and Reed would be the preference, but, with the way RBs get hurt in this league, keeping Parker and Reed or Clark would be my preference over Miller.

Ideally, Miller, Clark and Reed are all Steelers for a long time, that will take some veteran salary elimination after this year.

The Steelers simply under utilize a tight end for them to spend large sums of money on the position.

Pappy

I think re-signing Miller, Clark, and Reed is very doable (likely one of them during this off-season and the other two after the season). Those would be my top 3 realistic targets for extensions (at the expense of, say, Willie Parker).

All three for Parker? DONE! Where do I sign up for that deal? That would almost be the best case scenario short of signing everyone. :P

Pappy

RuthlessBurgher
07-06-2009, 01:21 PM
I want the Steelers to find a way to keep Heath Miller; he's the most underrated player in the NFL, IMHO. Announcers don't even know he's on the team, other teams never mention him, but he makes a ton of plays. My contention is that it will be difficult to keep him and some other veterans that are pretty good, ie, Clark, Parker and Reed (not Townsend, he's 36, I think). If it came down to keeping two of those players or Miller, I think I'd opt for 2 players over one player, unfortunately.

Clark and Reed would be the preference, but, with the way RBs get hurt in this league, keeping Parker and Reed or Clark would be my preference over Miller.

Ideally, Miller, Clark and Reed are all Steelers for a long time, that will take some veteran salary elimination after this year.

The Steelers simply under utilize a tight end for them to spend large sums of money on the position.

Pappy

I think re-signing Miller, Clark, and Reed is very doable (likely one of them during this off-season and the other two after the season). Those would be my top 3 realistic targets for extensions (at the expense of, say, Willie Parker).

All three for Parker? DONE! Where do I sign up for that deal? That would almost be the best case scenario short of signing everyone. :P

Pappy

Well, in addition to Parker, they'd also probably have to say goodbye to Townsend, Colon, and probably either Hampton or Keisel (take your pick...I say one stays and one goes).

aggiebones
07-06-2009, 01:45 PM
Money is tight.
Cap issues are aplenty for the new bargaining agreement. We'll see what happens, but I bet they slow down the cap increases that happen every year.
Heath is a potential cap casualty. Why? Cause we can sign some of these guys to shorter contracts and less money and still keep a veteran edge at many positions. It really depends on what type of money he wants, but things are tight, very tight.
Somethings may shake out as the season goes to make this clearer, but it won't be easy to keep him.
I bet they don't sign him and hope they can get the extra year out of him during an uncapped year since he won't be unrestricted that way.
Despite what some of you think, he's not indispensable. As long as we keep a large majority of the team each year, only a few guys are truly indispensable. Ben, Troy, and a few others. If we have a mass exodus of bit players we are screwed cause the team has very good chemistry and talent. Chemistry is what's been bumping us past the competition. But everyone loses pieces, even big pieces periodically.

Oviedo
07-06-2009, 03:26 PM
Who was the last "good citizen" who contributed to success on the field that the Steelers let walk at the end of their first contract? Heath Miller is a good citizen and he definitely contributes. I think the Steelers reward him for that and he stays.

steelcityrules!!
07-06-2009, 08:10 PM
I think Miller is very valuable and his numbers are a function of the offense not utilizing our TEs like they should. However, if Miller leaves I do have to agree that it is hardly a huge impact because TEs are usually available throughout the draft if you are just using them as primarily blockers versus quasi-H backs. Also don't forget that we have Dezmond Sherrod (6'2" 250lbs) also on the roster who oooked impressive catching the ball last pre season.

I still believe that Miller stays but the Steelers won't break the bank on him so he has to want to stay and ignore that he could get more on the open market.

I happen to think his impact is fairly significant on this offense. His durability and reliability on the field are almost legendary (in my own mind at least). The guy catches just about anything in his area code, and it takes 2-3 guys to bring him down.

now, we all know that he's not utilized to his full abilities... but isn't the notion of hitting heath on a third and long and he's GOING to pick it up using him appropriately? Lets face it, the guy isn't on the team to stretch the field, he's there as the ultimate safety valve. he's the premier lead blocker, and a humble, dedicated, smart, team-first vet who has the trust of his team.

His receiving stats should not be the barometer of his worth here, or be the reflection of his potential new contract. I think we should expect at least some sort of hometown discount, and I think he wants to stay... and I feel they should make every effort.

papillon
07-06-2009, 09:28 PM
I think Miller is very valuable and his numbers are a function of the offense not utilizing our TEs like they should. However, if Miller leaves I do have to agree that it is hardly a huge impact because TEs are usually available throughout the draft if you are just using them as primarily blockers versus quasi-H backs. Also don't forget that we have Dezmond Sherrod (6'2" 250lbs) also on the roster who oooked impressive catching the ball last pre season.

I still believe that Miller stays but the Steelers won't break the bank on him so he has to want to stay and ignore that he could get more on the open market.

I happen to think his impact is fairly significant on this offense. His durability and reliability on the field are almost legendary (in my own mind at least). The guy catches just about anything in his area code, and it takes 2-3 guys to bring him down.

now, we all know that he's not utilized to his full abilities... but isn't the notion of hitting heath on a third and long and he's GOING to pick it up using him appropriately? Lets face it, the guy isn't on the team to stretch the field, he's there as the ultimate safety valve. he's the premier lead blocker, and a humble, dedicated, smart, team-first vet who has the trust of his team.

His receiving stats should not be the barometer of his worth here, or be the reflection of his potential new contract. I think we should expect at least some sort of hometown discount, and I think he wants to stay... and I feel they should make every effort.

That's exactly what the fan in all of us knows. The problem is that Heath is going to be worth a lot if he decides to test the FA waters when he gets a chance to do so. He'll command a big salary from a team that will actually throw him the ball more than just as a safety valve. You have to think he can catch 75-80 balls a year if he's actually targeted.

I also believe that losing him will have a bigger impact on the Steeler offense than they know right now. He's reliable, sure handed and a good blocker, but, he in the financial world of NFL football you can't pay a guy elite money and utilize him as something less than that.

I hope he stays, but....

Pappy

NKySteeler
07-06-2009, 10:03 PM
Miller "appears" to be the prototypical "hometown" talent that is somewhat loyal.... Born in Swords Creek Va, and went to Virginia.... His hometown is basically Steelers fans (reference Jim Wexell's book "Steeler Nation")... So maybe he has a desire to remain with the black-n-gold...

papillon
07-06-2009, 11:36 PM
Miller "appears" to be the prototypical "hometown" talent that is somewhat loyal.... Born in Swords Creek Va, and went to Virginia.... His hometown is basically Steelers fans (reference Jim Wexell's book "Steeler Nation")... So maybe he has a desire to remain with the black-n-gold...

He has publicly stated that he has no urge to play for any other team than the Steelers. Unfortunately, the business side of the game may preempt what both he and the Steelers would like to see happen. IMHO, for Heath to be a Steeler when his contract is up he will either play for less than he's worth or the Steelers will jettison some very good veteran players.

Pappy

Slapstick
07-06-2009, 11:50 PM
That's exactly what the fan in all of us knows. The problem is that Heath is going to be worth a lot if he decides to test the FA waters when he gets a chance to do so. He'll command a big salary from a team that will actually throw him the ball more than just as a safety valve. You have to think he can catch 75-80 balls a year if he's actually targeted.

I also believe that losing him will have a bigger impact on the Steeler offense than they know right now. He's reliable, sure handed and a good blocker, but, he in the financial world of NFL football you can't pay a guy elite money and utilize him as something less than that.

I hope he stays, but....

Pappy

You are absolutely right...if the Steelers pay Heath, it will be for what he will do, not what he has already done...


He has publicly stated that he has no urge to pay for any other team than the Steelers. Unfortunately, the business side of the game may preempt what both he and the Steelers would like to see happen. IMHO, for Heath to be a Steeler when his contract is up he will either play for less than he's worth or the Steelers will jettison some very good veteran players.

Pappy

The Steelers always jettison some very good players...there is a cost/benefit analysis required...

If Heath is one of the players that the Steelers want to keep, then they will change the scheme to feature him...it's that simple...

papillon
07-07-2009, 08:16 AM
That's exactly what the fan in all of us knows. The problem is that Heath is going to be worth a lot if he decides to test the FA waters when he gets a chance to do so. He'll command a big salary from a team that will actually throw him the ball more than just as a safety valve. You have to think he can catch 75-80 balls a year if he's actually targeted.

I also believe that losing him will have a bigger impact on the Steeler offense than they know right now. He's reliable, sure handed and a good blocker, but, he in the financial world of NFL football you can't pay a guy elite money and utilize him as something less than that.

I hope he stays, but....

Pappy

You are absolutely right...if the Steelers pay Heath, it will be for what he will do, not what he has already done...


He has publicly stated that he has no urge to pay for any other team than the Steelers. Unfortunately, the business side of the game may preempt what both he and the Steelers would like to see happen. IMHO, for Heath to be a Steeler when his contract is up he will either play for less than he's worth or the Steelers will jettison some very good veteran players.

Pappy

The Steelers always jettison some very good players...there is a cost/benefit analysis required...

If Heath is one of the players that the Steelers want to keep, then they will change the scheme to feature him...it's that simple...

The Steelers have their own pay scale and percentage of salary cap space by position and I don't believe that they have ever deviated from that pay scale. The Steelers, typically, don't make a player the highest paid player at his position, but they do provide fair pay and security. Many players opt for the security and others opt for money elsewhere, I hope Heath opts for security.

I doubt the Steelers change their MO for Heath; but, I'm sure he'll get a fair offer from the Steelers. Only Heath Miller and his agent know if they'll accept great pay and security or elite pay somewhere else.

Pappy

Oviedo
07-07-2009, 08:36 AM
That's exactly what the fan in all of us knows. The problem is that Heath is going to be worth a lot if he decides to test the FA waters when he gets a chance to do so. He'll command a big salary from a team that will actually throw him the ball more than just as a safety valve. You have to think he can catch 75-80 balls a year if he's actually targeted.

I also believe that losing him will have a bigger impact on the Steeler offense than they know right now. He's reliable, sure handed and a good blocker, but, he in the financial world of NFL football you can't pay a guy elite money and utilize him as something less than that.

I hope he stays, but....

Pappy

You are absolutely right...if the Steelers pay Heath, it will be for what he will do, not what he has already done...


He has publicly stated that he has no urge to pay for any other team than the Steelers. Unfortunately, the business side of the game may preempt what both he and the Steelers would like to see happen. IMHO, for Heath to be a Steeler when his contract is up he will either play for less than he's worth or the Steelers will jettison some very good veteran players.

Pappy

The Steelers always jettison some very good players...there is a cost/benefit analysis required...

If Heath is one of the players that the Steelers want to keep, then they will change the scheme to feature him...it's that simple...

The Steelers have their own pay scale and percentage of salary cap space by position and I don't believe that they have ever deviated from that pay scale. The Steelers, typically, don't make a player the highest paid player at his position, but they do provide fair pay and security. Many players opt for the security and others opt for money elsewhere, I hope Heath opts for security.

I doubt the Steelers change their MO for Heath; but, I'm sure he'll get a fair offer from the Steelers. Only Heath Miller and his agent know if they'll accept great pay and security or elite pay somewhere else.

Pappy

Pappy--I agree that the Steelers have a salary cap allocation by position to make sure that the cap stays in alignment. That is why I think that Colon will not be back because we have committed a big part of the OL allocation to Starks and Kemo.

The thing we don't know is whether they have TEs as a separate allocation or is it part of a "receiver" allocation. If it is the latter the money could be there because Hines' cap number will be reduced and the other receivers are pretty young and low cap hits even thoiugh we need to extend Santonio in the next couple of years.

papillon
07-07-2009, 08:57 AM
That's exactly what the fan in all of us knows. The problem is that Heath is going to be worth a lot if he decides to test the FA waters when he gets a chance to do so. He'll command a big salary from a team that will actually throw him the ball more than just as a safety valve. You have to think he can catch 75-80 balls a year if he's actually targeted.

I also believe that losing him will have a bigger impact on the Steeler offense than they know right now. He's reliable, sure handed and a good blocker, but, he in the financial world of NFL football you can't pay a guy elite money and utilize him as something less than that.

I hope he stays, but....

Pappy

You are absolutely right...if the Steelers pay Heath, it will be for what he will do, not what he has already done...


He has publicly stated that he has no urge to pay for any other team than the Steelers. Unfortunately, the business side of the game may preempt what both he and the Steelers would like to see happen. IMHO, for Heath to be a Steeler when his contract is up he will either play for less than he's worth or the Steelers will jettison some very good veteran players.

Pappy

The Steelers always jettison some very good players...there is a cost/benefit analysis required...

If Heath is one of the players that the Steelers want to keep, then they will change the scheme to feature him...it's that simple...

The Steelers have their own pay scale and percentage of salary cap space by position and I don't believe that they have ever deviated from that pay scale. The Steelers, typically, don't make a player the highest paid player at his position, but they do provide fair pay and security. Many players opt for the security and others opt for money elsewhere, I hope Heath opts for security.

I doubt the Steelers change their MO for Heath; but, I'm sure he'll get a fair offer from the Steelers. Only Heath Miller and his agent know if they'll accept great pay and security or elite pay somewhere else.

Pappy

Pappy--I agree that the Steelers have a salary cap allocation by position to make sure that the cap stays in alignment. That is why I think that Colon will not be back because we have committed a big part of the OL allocation to Starks and Kemo.

The thing we don't know is whether they have TEs as a separate allocation or is it part of a "receiver" allocation. If it is the latter the money could be there because Hines' cap number will be reduced and the other receivers are pretty young and low cap hits even thoiugh we need to extend Santonio in the next couple of years.

I firmly believe that the Steelers want to retain Heath and that Heath wants to remain a Steeler; however, reality can be a cruel and pernicious partner at times.

I would think that the Steelers have a separate category for TEs, simply because, at times they are asked to be a third tackle and at times they are asked to be a receiver. Just a guess though.

Pappy

steelcityrules!!
07-07-2009, 09:03 PM
I think Miller is very valuable and his numbers are a function of the offense not utilizing our TEs like they should. However, if Miller leaves I do have to agree that it is hardly a huge impact because TEs are usually available throughout the draft if you are just using them as primarily blockers versus quasi-H backs. Also don't forget that we have Dezmond Sherrod (6'2" 250lbs) also on the roster who oooked impressive catching the ball last pre season.

I still believe that Miller stays but the Steelers won't break the bank on him so he has to want to stay and ignore that he could get more on the open market.

I happen to think his impact is fairly significant on this offense. His durability and reliability on the field are almost legendary (in my own mind at least). The guy catches just about anything in his area code, and it takes 2-3 guys to bring him down.

now, we all know that he's not utilized to his full abilities... but isn't the notion of hitting heath on a third and long and he's GOING to pick it up using him appropriately? Lets face it, the guy isn't on the team to stretch the field, he's there as the ultimate safety valve. he's the premier lead blocker, and a humble, dedicated, smart, team-first vet who has the trust of his team.

His receiving stats should not be the barometer of his worth here, or be the reflection of his potential new contract. I think we should expect at least some sort of hometown discount, and I think he wants to stay... and I feel they should make every effort.

That's exactly what the fan in all of us knows. The problem is that Heath is going to be worth a lot if he decides to test the FA waters when he gets a chance to do so. He'll command a big salary from a team that will actually throw him the ball more than just as a safety valve. You have to think he can catch 75-80 balls a year if he's actually targeted.

I also believe that losing him will have a bigger impact on the Steeler offense than they know right now. He's reliable, sure handed and a good blocker, but, he in the financial world of NFL football you can't pay a guy elite money and utilize him as something less than that.

I hope he stays, but....

Pappy

Your right Pap, apart from his intangibles, he would get large offers simply because of his potential... and that he's a two-time superbowl champ from the rooney up-bringing.

it will be interesting for sho

Chadman
07-07-2009, 10:13 PM
Pappy must be having Off-Season withdrawals & is suffering a "Panic Pants" week.

How often do the Steelers lose players they WANT to keep?

Heath Miller isn't exactly playing the premier position in the NFL- TE's don't tend to command enormous salaries.

While the hit will not be insignificant to keep Miller, it's not like trying to re-sign a QB, WR or OT, is it?

And in order to create the salary cap space, the Steelers can look at their extremely deep CB position for potential cap casualties- Anthony Madison's $1 million + contract comes to mind, or Keiwan Ratliffe. Remember, the Steelers did add 2 new CB's in the draft. Also, the Steelers used a 1st round pick on Mendenhall last season. As much as it's great to have 2 great RB's, the Steelers would be far more likely to either restructure or release Willie Parker, knowing they have a 1st round talent backing him up, than lose their starting TE.

Also, by re-signing say, Casey Hampton, you would in fact REDUCE his cap hit next season, freeing up more cap space for Miller. And with Ziggy Hood on board now, Travis Kirshcke & his $1 million + contract could be vulnerable too.

Chadman would be VERY surprised to see Heath Miller released or not re-signed by the Steelers.

papillon
07-07-2009, 10:19 PM
Pappy must be having Off-Season withdrawals & is suffering a "Panic Pants" week.

How often do the Steelers lose players they WANT to keep?

Heath Miller isn't exactly playing the premier position in the NFL- TE's don't tend to command enormous salaries.

While the hit will not be insignificant to keep Miller, it's not like trying to re-sign a QB, WR or OT, is it?

And in order to create the salary cap space, the Steelers can look at their extremely deep CB position for potential cap casualties- Anthony Madison's $1 million + contract comes to mind, or Keiwan Ratliffe. Remember, the Steelers did add 2 new CB's in the draft. Also, the Steelers used a 1st round pick on Mendenhall last season. As much as it's great to have 2 great RB's, the Steelers would be far more likely to either restructure or release Willie Parker, knowing they have a 1st round talent backing him up, than lose their starting TE.

Also, by re-signing say, Casey Hampton, you would in fact REDUCE his cap hit next season, freeing up more cap space for Miller. And with Ziggy Hood on board now, Travis Kirshcke & his $1 million + contract could be vulnerable too.

Chadman would be VERY surprised to see Heath Miller released or not re-signed by the Steelers.

Okay, I have to admit I love the "panic pants" vernacular you southern hemisphere guys are a riot. I'm not panicing though; simply stating the facts as I see them. The Steelers want Heath and Heath wants to be a Steeler, but there is that business side of things. As I have stated, Heath will either play for less or some very good veterans will either be cut, asked to take a reduction in salary or have to restructure.

I'd like to see Ben step up to the plate and restructure his behemouth of a contract to help things out.

"Panic Pants", I love it...you have any other sayings from down under that would post a smile on my face? :moon :P

Pappy

feltdizz
07-08-2009, 08:14 PM
I doubt he leaves.. but we would be alright if he did.. we don't use TE's like other teams and we win a lot of games and have 6 trophies...

NKySteeler
07-08-2009, 09:34 PM
I'd like to see Ben step up to the plate and restructure his behemouth of a contract to help things out.


... I seriously doubt you'll see this happen. At least not in the near future. But who knows...

steelmann58
07-08-2009, 09:46 PM
this is so stupid Miller will not be an Ex Steeler.

Iron Shiek
07-09-2009, 08:28 AM
Update:

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2009/07/08/heath-miller-isnt-going-anywhere-for-now/


Heath Miller isn't going anywhere, for now
Posted by Mike Florio on July 8, 2009 11:43 PM
Apparently, there is scuttlebutt that Steelers tight end Heath Miller could be a salary-cap casualty in what currently is scheduled to be the last year with a salary cap.

And as a source with intimate knowledge as to the dynamics of the team's operation tells us, there's simply no way that the team will be cutting Miller.

Typically, players become salary-cap casualties when dumping their salaries would result in a potentially significant cap savings. In Miller's case, his base salary is only $800,000.

Though there's a chance that Miller has other compensation that would be avoided if he were cut, the final years of low first-round rookie contracts usually don't have exotic terms.

We'll be tracking down more details about the potential cap savings that the Steelers would realize if Miller were released. Based on what we already know, however, Miller isn't going anywhere this year.

This doesn't mean that the team will keep him in 2010. But if there's no salary cap next year, the salary cap won't be a reason to not keep him around.

RuthlessBurgher
07-09-2009, 08:42 AM
Update:

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2009/07/08/heath-miller-isnt-going-anywhere-for-now/


Heath Miller isn't going anywhere, for now
Posted by Mike Florio on July 8, 2009 11:43 PM
Apparently, there is scuttlebutt that Steelers tight end Heath Miller could be a salary-cap casualty in what currently is scheduled to be the last year with a salary cap.

And as a source with intimate knowledge as to the dynamics of the team's operation tells us, there's simply no way that the team will be cutting Miller.

Typically, players become salary-cap casualties when dumping their salaries would result in a potentially significant cap savings. In Miller's case, his base salary is only $800,000.

Though there's a chance that Miller has other compensation that would be avoided if he were cut, the final years of low first-round rookie contracts usually don't have exotic terms.

We'll be tracking down more details about the potential cap savings that the Steelers would realize if Miller were released. Based on what we already know, however, Miller isn't going anywhere this year.

This doesn't mean that the team will keep him in 2010. But if there's no salary cap next year, the salary cap won't be a reason to not keep him around.


Where is this "scuttlebutt" coming from, Florio? People on message boards like this who think the sky is falling because we are close to the cap? C'mon, now...when is the last time the team let a successful first round pick walk after their rookie deal is up? It doesn't happen unless they suck like Troy Edwards or have attitude issues like Plaxico Burress, neither of which apply to Miller. His is a Steeler player through-and-through, and will be here beyond this season, whether it is via a long-term extension, an RFA tender if there is no new CBA, or a franchise tag if there is a new CBA. He's a cornerstone player. Tight ends don't break the bank. He is well worth a contract average around four-something per season. The guys that you let go are veterans who are no longer the same player that they used to be, not young studs just coming into their prime.