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hawaiiansteel
05-09-2010, 02:22 AM
On the Steelers: A look around the negotiating table at who is being served and who isn't

Sunday, May 09, 2010
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


All seems quiet on the contract front with the Steelers, except with kicker Jeff Reed. There is nothing doing with other players such as LaMarr Woodley, Ike Taylor and Willie Colon.

Those three could become unrestricted free agents in March. Taylor will, unless he signs a new contract. Woodley and Colon might, depending on whether there is a new collective bargaining agreement.

Reed's agent met with Steelers executives Kevin Colbert and Omar Khan in Pittsburgh Tuesday and believes the team wants to negotiate a multiyear contract before July 15. As the franchise player, Reed must sign a new deal by July 15 or his one-year tender of $2.814 million will take effect.

"We had a good conversation," agent Don Henderson said. "We're working on it."

Henderson said both sides want to get a longer deal done and thinks it will happen.

There is nothing, CBA or otherwise, stopping the Steelers from negotiating a contract extension with their coach, it just does not seem to be occurring. The Steelers always extended Bill Cowher's contract when he had two years left on it except in 2006, and the coach resigned after that season.

Mike Tomlin has said he will not talk about his contract and his agent has not responded to messages or emails on the matter. The Steelers employ the same policy with their coach as with their players -- they will negotiate up to the start of the season but not after that.

Few starting jobs will be at stake in training camp
For all the problems the Steelers had last season when they collapsed to go 9-7, there will be little competition for starting jobs in training camp: Left cornerback, right guard and maybe inside linebacker. And quarterback, of course, for the first four games.

Injuries could change that, and there will be many more battles going on behind the starters. At left cornerback, it appears it will come down to Bryant McFadden or Keenan Lewis. At right guard, Maurkice Pouncey, Trai Essex and Ramon Foster. At inside linebacker, two seats for James Farrior, Lawrence Timmons and Larry Foote.

Foote always seemed to be the ideal mack linebacker who stays closer to the line of scrimmage than the buck that is James Farrior. Timmons is the one who seems more suited to back up Farrior. But that is not the case, apparently. If Farrior is replaced, it would be with Foote.

Sweed made the call, and it was wrong number ...
Limas Sweed's Achilles injury that likely will cost him the 2010 season is the latest jinx to befall those Steelers who wore the No. 80. As part of his fresh start following two difficult seasons after the Steelers drafted him in the second round, Sweed turned in his old No. 14 for No. 80 this spring.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/images/201005/20100503mf_sweed_330.jpg

Perhaps, it was not such a good idea. The previous two No. 80s became infamous. The Steelers released Cedric Wilson after he was accused of hitting his girlfriend. Plaxico Burress is in jail after shooting himself in the leg.

Another who wore No. 80 was known for the same thing that dogged Sweed, dropped passes. Jahine Arnold was a fourth-round draft pick from Fresno State in 1996, dubbed "JaClang" for the sound footballs made bouncing off his hands.

Then there was Mark Stock, who wore No. 80 in 1989. He dropped a pass in a playoff game from Bubby Brister near midfield as the Steelers were mounting a last-minute drive against Denver, down by one. Had he caught that pass, they might have pulled it off because they had sure-footed Gary Anderson ready to kick. He kicked a 50- yard field goal in overtime to beat Houston in their first playoff game that season, and his range was longer in the thin Denver air. Had Stock caught that pass, the Steelers might have beaten John Elway to go on to the AFC championship game in Cleveland.

Sweed should have done more research before switching to it. Jack Butler, however, wore that number proudly with the Steelers from 1951-59 and should be in the Hall of Fame. But Butler's career ended with a terrible leg injury on the field that nearly cost him his life.

If Sweed overcomes this latest setback, he should look into switching jersey numbers again.

There is a silver (and gold) lining
Something good will come out of Ben Roethlisberger's suspension. He will help retired football players, kids, education and medical research with what could be more than $3 million in fines (lost salary) if he misses six games (seven weeks) because of commissioner Roger Goodell's suspension.

According to the NFL, player fines collected by the league have been used to support retired player programs, including the NFL Player Care Foundation and NFLPA Players Assistance Trust; disaster relief initiatives; and other charities supporting youth, education and sports-related medical research.

Roethlisberger was not the only one fined for his misdeeds. The NFL also fined the Steelers $200,000 because their quarterback misbehaved. And that money will go to good use as well. The money lost when clubs are fined because one of their players was suspended helps fund programs dealing with the league's drug policy, steroids, and NFL player-development programs.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10129/10 ... eelers.xml (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10129/1056769-66.stm?cmpid=steelers.xml)
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10129/10 ... z0nPUOQcKJ (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10129/1056769-66.stm?cmpid=steelers.xml#ixzz0nPUOQcKJ)

frankthetank1
05-09-2010, 10:04 AM
why isnt woodley the steelers #1 priority to get a long term deal done? this doesnt make sense. even if reed doesnt agree on a long term contract 2 and a half mill isnt a whole lot of money. taylor and colon i could see the steelers not wanting to give them a big contract until the season is over

birtikidis
05-09-2010, 12:58 PM
why isnt woodley the steelers #1 priority to get a long term deal done? this doesnt make sense. even if reed doesnt agree on a long term contract 2 and a half mill isnt a whole lot of money. taylor and colon i could see the steelers not wanting to give them a big contract until the season is over
because with the retarded rule of 30% in pay increase. it makes it really difficult for teams to give a new contract. We'll get it done, just has to be really really creative.

frankthetank1
05-09-2010, 01:37 PM
why isnt woodley the steelers #1 priority to get a long term deal done? this doesnt make sense. even if reed doesnt agree on a long term contract 2 and a half mill isnt a whole lot of money. taylor and colon i could see the steelers not wanting to give them a big contract until the season is over
because with the retarded rule of 30% in pay increase. it makes it really difficult for teams to give a new contract. We'll get it done, just has to be really really creative.

oh ok gotcha. what exactly is the rule? it doesnt affect getting jeff reed getting a new contract possibly? or is it because he is a kicker and kickers dont get paid a whole lot?

birtikidis
05-09-2010, 01:52 PM
I don't understand the whole idea myself, but it has something to do with extending a players contract, but limiting the pay increase to only up to 30%... there's a couple guys that ran into the problem this year.
Patrick Willis was one of them.. they used a really creative approach... splitting his signing bonus into two parts.
this article explains it better than i could http://www.ninersnation.com/2010/5/3/1456318/the-nfls-30-rule-and-a-vernon

calmkiller
05-09-2010, 03:49 PM
The 30% rule doesn't allow a players salary to increase by over 30% from one year to the next. Therefore a second round puck that becomes a probowler can't recieve a probowler salary in the next contract. It basically screws the home team out of keeping thier player.

frankthetank1
05-09-2010, 11:39 PM
The 30% rule doesn't allow a players salary to increase by over 30% from one year to the next. Therefore a second round puck that becomes a probowler can't recieve a probowler salary in the next contract. It basically screws the home team out of keeping thier player.

this is the most retarded rule i have ever heard of. its not like woodley is a one year wonder the guy has been consistent for a few years. just because he wasnt a first round pick they penalize him for it? really stupid. im sure they can get him to sign a contract that increases gradually every year

Oviedo
05-10-2010, 07:45 AM
Here is a pretty good discussion of what the 49ers did with Vernon Davis reference this. Woodley is mentioned towards the end


A week or so ago, Tre9er posted a FanShot linking to a National Football Post article that was discussing something called the 30% rule in the expired collective bargaining agreement. The rule (found in Article XXIV, section 8(b)) states that:


"No NFL Player Contract entered into in a Capped Year and extending into the Final League Year or beyond may provide for an annual increase in Salary, excluding any amount attributable to a signing bonus ... of more than 30% of the Salary provided for in the Final Capped Year, per year, either in the Final League Year or in any subsequent League Year covered by the Player Contract."


So basically, if the 2009 salary is $2M, the maximum available in 2010 is $2.6M, in 2011 it’s $3.2M, and so forth. In the earlier FanShot discussion, smileyman put together some mocked up salary numbers adding 30% of each subsequent salary. In the sources I've seen since, it reads as though it's only adding 30% of the year 2009 salary. I tweeted J.I. Halsell (writes for FO, used to be a cap analyst for the Redskins) and he said it's 30% of 2009, so we'll go with that info..

I'm bringing this up again for a few reasons. First, it's an important subject for 49ers fans because Vernon Davis is a free agent after 2010, and the 49ers have other guys coming up in 2011 and beyond (notably Patrick Willis) that they likely want to extend as soon as possible. Second, FanShots (even those moved to the front page), don't always get a lot of comments, so this is something I wanted to expand on a bit more. And third, I found another interesting article that provides a somewhat analogous situation and some additional insight on the subject.

More after the jump...

The primary option for circumventing the 30% rule is loading up the signing bonus in a contract. Looking at Vernon Davis, his 2009 salary was $1.44 million. That means, if he signed a 6-year extension (the length of Brent Celek's extension) it appears as though his annual salaries could increase no more than $432,000 per year (30% of his $1.44M). One question I have on that is whether it's only 30% of the 2009 salary, or if it's 30% of the subsequent salary. It wouldn't be a whole lot, but it would compound it a little bit.

If it's the former, then a 6-year deal would include total salaries of $17,712,000. Last December, Brent Celek signed an 8-year extension worth $34 million. Brent Celek is a very solid tight end, but as we discussed back then, I think Davis is better and will likely be looking for a better deal. Back in early 2008, Dallas Clark signed a six year extension worth $36 million. While we could use that as a baseline, let's round up and say Davis wants six years worth $42 million (just for argument's sake and inflation). If that's the case, the 49ers would be looking at bonuses of $24,288,000. Here are the year-by-year numbers for clarification:

2010: $1,872,000
2011: $2,304,000
2012: $2,736,000
2013: $3,168,000
2014: $3,600,000
2015: $4,032,000

As I mentioned before the jump, I based the increases on 30% of his 2009 salary and not 30% of each subsequent season.

Suffice to say, that's a crapload of money to be guaranteeing Davis. Of course, NFL teams do it all the time with their draft picks, and the 49ers will likely be looking at such guaranteed money in signing Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati. The 49ers are a profitable franchise, but they would be looking at a whole lot of up-front cash this year if they wanted to make sure Davis remained under their control for the foreseeable future.

Earlier I mentioned another article on the topic. Over at the Steelers Scouts.com site, Ian Whetstone (a solid cap commentator on the Internet) wrote about Pittsburgh's own issues in this area with Lamarr Woodley. The Steelers OLB is coming off his second straight 12 sack season and has been an all around impressive performer. The problem is that his rookie deal paid him $460,000 in 2009 (he was a mid-second round pick). Given such a low salary number, the necessary signing bonus money would be simply outrageous (in the neighborhood of $50 million).

Given the uncertain labor future of the NFL, the issues of restricted free agency and franchise tags remain up in the air. Ian makes the point that short term extensions might be the answer. Whether a player takes it or not would seem to depend in part on how badly or not he wants to stay in his current city. If Vernon Davis really wants to remain with the 49ers, but still wants the big money, maybe he takes 1-year deal to get into the new collective bargaining agreement and then get his big money?

NorthCoast
05-10-2010, 12:33 PM
On Reed, I hope the FO plays it smart and doesn't blow a wad on him. His game is field goals, which he does very well. But the short kick-offs would have me always keeping an eye out for an able replacement. Don't care how good your coverage team is, giving the ball to your opponent 10-15 yds upfield is a lot to overcome with coverage.

hawaiiansteel
05-15-2010, 02:43 PM
Will We Bring More Wood?

By Harvey “Mr. Steeler” Aronson


With this year’s free agents on the Steelers for the most part taken care of, looking ahead to 2011 the Steelers most definitely have their hands full…again.


http://steelershotline.com/woodley.jpg


Those who have contracts expiring after this season are:

Dennis Dixon, Mewelde Moore, Matt Spaeth, Willie Colon, Trai Essex, Tony
Hills, Chris Hoke, LaMarr Woodley, Andre Frazier, Keyaron Fox, Ike Taylor, William Gay, Jeff Reed, and Daniel Sepulveda.

Reed signed a one-year contract extension this year but Dixon’s future could be very intriguing. Say for example Byron Leftwich beats out Dixon for Ben Roethlisberger’s replacement to begin the season. Would the Steelers keep Byron around next year as Roethlisberger’s backup, draft another young quarterback and release Dixon? Only time will tell. Mewelde Moore was less effective last season so he could be playing for his Steelers future this season. Matt Spaeth got off to a hot start in his rookie year but with the emergence of last year’s rookie David Johnson, Spaeth may be allowed to walk. Offensive linemen come and go, so unless Trai Essex lights it up in 2010, don’t expect him back. Same goes for Tony Hills who has yet to make any sort of impressions. Chris Hoke, consider him gone unless he settles for a low paying contract. Andre Frazier? Excellent backup, not a quality starter, good special teamer. Keyaron Fox was impressive in his role as a fill-in for the injured in 2009 so I expect the Steelers to make him an offer. Ike Taylor? Like Mewelde Moore, I think he could be playing for his future in Black and Gold. Especially with some young guys behind him. William Gay? He’s lucky to be returning this year. Then there is Daniel Sepulveda and LaMarr Woodley. “Sep” will return. They will pay him. That is unless he forgets how to punt this season. As for the “Wood,” he is a gamer and so valuable. He will get a nice contract next season. To let him go would be a MAJOR mistake. More on the Wood now from the web.

The Steelers find themselves in a predicament as Pro Bowl linebacker LaMarr Woodley enters the fourth and final year of the contract he signed after the team selected him on the second round in 2007. The "30 percent rule" that went into effect this year means the Steelers must tie any salaries on a contract extension for Woodley to his 2009 salary of $460,000. That means each annual salary could climb by only $138,000, starting with $598,000 in 2010 (his salary for this year under the current deal is $550,000). In 2011, it could only go to $736,000, etc. The Steelers signed linebacker James Harrison to a six-year, $51.75 million contract last year. To give Woodley even a five-year contract that would come close to Harrison's in value, the Steelers would have to give him a signing bonus of $40 million or so because all they could give him in salaries over five years would be $4.37 million. The Steelers won't be giving out signing bonuses anywhere near that. So, what do they do? Woodley surpassed Harrison to lead the team with 13.5 sacks last season, after hanging up 11.5 the previous season playing the left or strong side outside linebacker position for them. He's young and on the come and with Harrison at 32 and inside linebacker James Farrior at 35, they need to keep Woodley for the long run. They cannot give it to him in roster bonuses because those count under the 30 percent rule. They do have one or two choices, and both involve not signing him this year. They can make him their franchise player next year, or if there is no new CBA by then, he will be a restricted free agent. They take a chance that way but as it stands now, it's impossible for the Steelers to sign Woodley to a contract extension. Kicker Jeff Reed's situation is quite different and the Steelers continue to talk to his agent about a multi-year deal. Reed does not fall into the "30 percent" rule because his contract expired after the 2009 calendar year and he was named their franchise player. Only players with contracts that were in effect in 2009 and 2010 are affected. The same holds true for offensive tackle Willie Colon, who is a restricted free agent for the second straight year because the rules changed in this non-cap year in which a player now must have six years in before he can become a UFA and Colon has only four. The Steelers, however, are not negotiating with his agent to try to get a multi-year deal. Cornerback Ike Taylor, also entering the final year of his contract, would be free to leave after it expires unless they would name him their franchise player, which is unlikely. There are no contract talks involving him either.

http://steelershotline.com/coverstory.html

SanAntonioSteelerFan
05-15-2010, 05:02 PM
Wow, losing Woodley because of a rule like this seems really horrible.

Whatever good might be associated with the rule, I can't imagine how it would outweigh the negative associated a team losing a star young player like this.

So I guess he has to be franchised, and THEN his salary could be adjusted to match his play?

hawaiiansteel
05-15-2010, 09:36 PM
Wow, losing Woodley because of a rule like this seems really horrible.

Whatever good might be associated with the rule, I can't imagine how it would outweigh the negative associated a team losing a star young player like this.

So I guess he has to be franchised, and THEN his salary could be adjusted to match his play?


if there is no CBA next year, Woodley will be a RFA. if there is one, we may have to franchise him...here are the franchise tag #s for 2010:

The franchise levels for 2010 are: $16.405 million for quarterbacks; $8.156 million for running backs; $9.521 million for wide receivers; $5.908 million for tight ends; $10.731 million for offensive linemen; $12.398 million for defensive ends; $7.003 million for defensive tackles; $9.680 million for linebackers; $6.455 million for safeties; $9.566 million for cornerbacks; and $2.814 million for punters and kickers.

RuthlessBurgher
05-16-2010, 09:52 AM
As I mentioned in another post, there is no guarantee that franchise or transition tags will be a part of the new collective bargaining agreement. Top players absolutely hate being franchised. If the league wants to reduce the overall percentage of gross revenue that is doled out toward player salaries, they have to give something back to the union. The players may ask for no more franchise/transition tags in the bargaining process, so that they are totally free when their contracts are up, and are not subjected to a string of one year deals when they would prefer to be able to negotiate for long term security.